FORMER MUNSTER CAPTAIN Mick Galwey hopes common sense prevails and the IRFU reverses its decision not to offer Donnacha Ryan a new central contract for next season.
With no contract offer from the union on the table, the second row is set to leave Munster at the end of the current campaign to join French outfit Racing 92.
The southern province have attempted to retain Ryan’s services by offering him a two-year deal but without the financial support of the IRFU, it fell below the salary on offer in France.
The 33-year-old’s age was the main reason the union opted not to renew Ryan’s terms, even though Jamie Heaslip was handed a new deal in February.
“I honestly think it’s ridiculous,” Galwey told The42 this afternoon.
“Donnacha Ryan was the number one second row at the end of the Six Nations. This is what we have to remember and he has a lot of rugby to play. He and Jamie Heaslip are the same age yet Jamie gets a two-year contract and Donnacha doesn’t.
“I think we’re stuck for second rows and I’m very surprised we’re letting him go. None of the provinces can afford to lose top players.
“There’s part of me that’s hoping he’s not gone yet and we’re all hoping that and if Munster were to win tomorrow [v Saracens] and get into a European final, hopefully win it and Donnacha has a big impact…I hope sense prevails and there might be an option there to get him back.”
While Galwey says he hasn’t spoken directly with the 47-times capped Ireland international, he knows for a fact that he doesn’t want to leave Thomond Park.
“At the end of the day he wants to stay here and play for Munster and Ireland,” the 50-year-old continued.
“Donnacha doesn’t want to go and that’s the bottom line. Donnacha doesn’t want to go and I know that for a fact and hopefully with a few good performances people might change their mind.”
Ryan starts for Munster in tomorrow’s Champions Cup semi-final showdown with Saracens and will no doubt have no shortage of incentive to make a point at the end of a week which saw him miss out on Lions selection.
The Tipperary native will come up against two of the locks Warren Gatland did select in Maro Itoje and George Kruis and Galwey is predicting a big performance out of Ryan at the Aviva Stadium.
“He has nothing to prove to ourselves or the general public but knowing the fella he is he’s going to have a big one tomorrow,” Galwey added.
“I felt that for the type of player they [the Lions] were looking for, Donnacha would have been ideal. I know there’s a lot of competition but I certainly thought Donnacha would be in the mix and Simon Zebo as well.
“I always felt Zebo or Keith Earls should have gone because when you look at some of the players that have gone, there’s a lot of players going on reputation and I’d like to think the Lions should be picked on current form. Current form, not alone at international level but at club level as well.
“When you look at the Irish players that are going, they’re all performing week in, week out and that’s what you need from a Lions player. It’s not just about turning up for your country every now and again and playing a few good matches, it’s performing week in, week out. There’s just a few players there being picked on reputation.
“For Donnacha coming up against Kruis and Itoje, there will be a big incentive. With a bit of help from Peter O’Mahony, Billy Holland and all the other lads, I can see Donnacha having a huge impact tomorrow.”Source: Heineken Ireland/YouTube
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