Whenever Thomas Young produces a big display – as he frequently does – it always sparks debate about his absence from Welsh rugby.
That’s been the case once again following the piece of magic the Wasps flanker conjured up over the weekend.
It came 19 minutes into the Gallagher Premiership clash with Dan Biggar’s Northampton at Franklin’s Gardens.
Receiving the ball in midfield on his own 10 metre line, Young cut inside Fijian international hooker Sam Matavesi and burst away, showing his pace.
As he approached the opposition 22, he had both Biggar and Saints scrum-half Tom James in front of him.
But showing great composure, decision-making and no little gas, he headed in-between the two defenders.
Then, just as Biggar dived in to make the tackle on him, Young popped a one-handed scoring pass to team-mate Dan Robson, who scampered over, with James having been turned and taken out of the game.
It had BT commentator Alistair Eyken purring.
“That was nonchalant,” he declared.
“Wonderful work from Thomas Young. So dextrous.”
England World Cup winner Ben Kay chimed in, calling it “a miracle offload” from the openside.
“There was no room for error at all, perfect delivery,” said the former second row.
“What a score that is.”
Co-commentator Austin Healey added: “The finish is just exceptional.”
Footage of the try was posted on social media after the game, which Northampton won 30-25.
That saw further plaudits heaped on the 29-year-old Young.
“Love this try. Take a step, then show back row wheels!” said one person on Twitter, while another added: “He’s got some pace. That break would have been raved about if it had been performed by a back. Absolutely incredible from a forward.”
One fan commented “He always gives 110 per cent, never ever lets us down. He is what every back row should aspire to” and another said “He’s a brilliant player. Love watching him.”
The try-scoring offload even saw him dubbed “Sonny Bill Young” by one poster.
It also had some asking whether he might make Wayne Pivac’s Wales squad this summer.
But, of course, Young is ineligible under the WRU’s 60-cap rule.
Even though he wasn’t offered a deal by any of the Welsh regions when he came out of contract last year, the fact he re-signed for Wasps meant he was captured by the rule, as he only has three caps to his name.
It was a difficult situation.
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The Welsh teams are well stacked for flankers, plus anyone signing Young would have had to cover all his wages themselves as it’s understood he wasn’t pencilled in for a spot in the elite 38.
The home-based 38 have 80 per cent of their wages covered via the first tier of WRU payments distributed to the regions.
It was thought the Ospreys might be interested in Young at one point. But, in the end, they didn’t put an offer on the table.
So he had no option to return to Wales, but still finds himself ineligible.
That has been seen as unfair in the eyes of many. Here’s what Young himself thinks about it.
Summing up that opinion over the weekend, one Tweeter commented: “I wholeheartedly agree with the cap rule, but I’m not a fan of when good players can’t play because they not required by the regions even when they are willing to to leave their English or French clubs.”
Should Thomas Young be allowed to play for Wales? Have your say in the comments below
The fact Young only won three caps while he was eligible was also a subject of debate.
“Been such a good player for years. A real shame he was underrated and never got his chance,” said one Tweeter.
Another added: “How he hasn’t had more Welsh caps. Yes, we are blessed with quality back rowers, but he has been consistently one of the best in the English Premiership.”