Politics aside, shouldn’t they play together?

So as another NornIron coach sets out on a mission impossible, while the coach of the Republic (at least in name – for now) heads off to an international championships leading the least favoured side in the competition, are there any sporting arguments against the two Irish associations stealing a play from the rugby crowd’s book and playing together?

Sure there’s politics involved but since many people pushing the political arguments are the first to claim that northern players should keep politics out of their deliberations on which of the two Irish Associations they should play for, why don’t we all do precisely that: Politics aside, why not play together?

Year after year we see a rugby team (and culture) that does the primary thing top level sport is all about: The team – temporarily backed by its various tribes – competes.

Perspective: One of the great and unacknowledged tragedies of the Irish potato blight was its future impact on Irish soccer. Where it not for the 1840s, in population-to-soccer terms, we could have been a Holland.

Can we not still?