Celtic ancestry is, for many, a very valued commodity. Americans, for instance, just love to brag about an Irish connection, a Scottish lineage or a Welsh heritage. It gives them street cred, especially on days like last Friday when having a mere drop of Irish blood in your veins entitled you to get roaring drunk on green Guinness in memory of Saint Patrick. And in these cyber days, tracing your family tree is achieved quicker than you can say Roots . There are scores of sites offering helpful hints and links to find that missing grandparent, great aunt or distant cousin. Celtic ancestry has also been useful in recent times for rugby mercenaries from New Zealand, which seems to have more top-class players than it does sheep and far fewer uses for them. As Wales, Scotland and Ireland woke up to the fact that locally bred players just could not live with the All Blacks of New Zealand, Australian Wallabies or South African Springboks, so the search began for props, flankers, wingers and fullbacks from foreign fields to strengthen their sides. The only requirement was that they had to have, at the very least, a grandparent born in their adopted country. That was the ruling approved by the International Rugby Board but it appears after last week's revelations about certain 'Welsh' Kiwis that no documentation was needed before a player donned the national colours. These transfers of nationality were done on trust. It seems, however, that Wales was not the land of Brett Sinkinson's 'fathers' or any of his relations for that matter. And there are serious suspicions about the lineage claims of fellow New Zealander Shane Howarth, the current Wales fullback. Both flanker Sinkinson and Howarth were left out of the team who defeated Scotland in the Six Nations Championship on Saturday as embarrassed rugby officials in Wales investigated the claims made in a leading British newspaper. Welsh hearts began sinkin' at the beginning of last week when it was revealed that Sinkinson was far removed from being a native son. The forward, who ironically was first selected for Wales on St David's Day last year, claimed to have a Welsh grandfather, but inquiries have revealed that his slaughterman ancestor was born in England - Oldham to be exact. Similarly, no evidence could be found of the Cardiff-born grandfather who, seemingly, made Howarth eligible to play for Wales. It's all very messy, with former greats of the Welsh team - and the country lives for rugby - bemoaning the fact that the nation was now the laughing stock of the world game. Max Boyce, the leek-carrying singer-comedian who typifies the passion for the game in Wales, will probably write a ditty about the whole sorry affair but it will take more than his renowned wit to placate the incensed Welsh. Graham Henry, Wales' Kiwi coach who so recently was hailed as the country's rugby messiah after leading them to 10 straight wins, is taking a bit of flak for his recruitment policy. Sinkinson's remarks that Henry 'roped' him into the team when he heard stories about his Welsh grandad could be the start of his undoing. Scotland, who fielded several kilted Kiwis on their way to winning the Five Nations Championship last year, and Ireland have been quick to offer proof that their overseas recruits are bona fide. But the Welsh affair has re-opened the nationality and eligibility debate, with former Scottish captain David Sole saying that the whole essence of playing sport for your country was rendered worthless the day New Zealand-born John Leslie was named the Scots' skipper. A soulful judgment indeed from a true lionheart.