It has been two years now since the selection of Jean Kleyn to Ireland’s squad for the 2019 Rugby World Cup with Devin Toner was left out of the process – a move that sparked some controversy at the time. Kleyn looked tense with fury while in Japan and this morning he tells Gerry Thornley that it had an effect on him, although he feels he is past that now and would like to play international rugby again. “I play the game because I love the game and because my family loves it and my friends love it, and you know, that’s why I do it, and I just do it for these reasons. I regained my pleasure and it was superb, ”he said. Meanwhile, in his column this morning, Johnny Watterson examines the concept of a Lions women’s tour and writes that such an idea should reinvent Lions and be bold, modern and inclusive.
Turning to football, FAI President Gerry McEnaney said there was now a sense of “positivity” around Stephen Kenny’s side of Ireland after their back-to-back wins against Azerbaijan and Qatar. Before the last international window, many questions had been asked about Kenny’s future and about the renewal of his contract. Although this question remains unanswered at the end of the current campaign, background music is definitely better for the former Dundalk manager. Moving on to the Premier League and it is understood that only three of the 20 Premier League clubs have accepted an invitation from the police to help tackle racism online, news that left police chief Mark Roberts “disappointed”.