Opinion – Munster’s centre of excellence?


Screen shot 2015-04-09 at 12.51.40THIS WEEK Munster announced the signing of All Black centre Frances Saili. The 24 year-old has made 33 Super Rugby appearances for the Auckland Blues, scoring five tries, and represented Auckland in the ITM Cup on 31 occasions.
Currently involved in Super 15 duties with the Blues, Saili will join the province later this year, on completion of his 2015 contractual commitments.
This is a great signing. No doubt. However, a question needs to be asked. Following on from Tyler Bleyendaal, Andrew Smith, Pat Howard (loan), Casey Laulala, Jean De Villiers, Rua Tipoki, Lifeimi Mafi, Jason Holland, etc etc, why don’t Munster produce Irish centres?
The Munster coaching team has this year been on record as stating that the academy/ club players at 12/ 13 are not good enough to play at the highest (European Cup) level. These comments were made in relation to the short term signing of Pat Howard.
So, if the academy and clubs are not producing centres, where is the problem? Are Munster looking to fix this by supporting clubs and schools to develop these talent shy areas, or are they just happy to sign in whatever is needed on a yearly basis?
Rugby is professional long enough at this stage, that Munster should have a conveyor belt of local talent coming through in all positions.
Something is broken somewhere. Question is, who is in charge of fixing it?