1. Welcome to the Green and Gold Rugby forums. As you can see we've upgraded the forums to new software. Your old logon details should work, just click the 'Login' button in the top right.

World Rugby to review Regulation 8 - Eligibilty

Discussion in 'Rugby Discussion' started by waiopehu oldboy, Dec 11, 2016.


After how many years residence should a player be eligible for their adopted country?

Poll closed Jan 8, 2017.
Never - country of birth only, no exceptions 2 vote(s) 14.3%
One year 0 vote(s) 0.0%
Three years (status quo) 6 vote(s) 42.9%
Five years 6 vote(s) 42.9%
  1. waiopehu oldboy Rod McCall (65)

    Likes Received:
    Eligibility for national teams is controlled by World Rugby's Regulation 8, which allows eligibility for a particular country by birth; by having one or more parents or grandparents born in that country; or by serving a qualification period of three years.

    World Rugby has established a committee to canvass the opinion of member Unions on changes to these criteria, and is due to report back to World Rugby's governing council in May 2017. World Rugby Vice President Augustin Pichot has been advocating changes for some time and the committee appears to be of his creation.

    All of the Six Nations are probably going to favour leaving things exactly as they are: they have the means to entice players from elsewhere in Europe, the Pacific Islands, Australasia and Southern Africa into playing for their adopted country and have been very successful in doing so. Australia are also on record as opposing any changes. Argentina on the other hand apparently favour scrapping both the "heritage" (parent/ grandparent) and qualification rules.

    South Africa are said to favour reducing heritage to parent(s) only, and New Zealand increasing the qualification period to five years while retaining the heritage rule. New Zealand are also said to favour allowing a player to change allegiance once, but only from Tier 1 to Tier 2. This would allow, say, Malakai Fekitoa to play for Tonga if and when his All Blacks career is over.


    It's my view that qualification by birth only is grossly unfair in what is now a very mobile world. Why should a child born in Auckland and raised in Tokoroa before migrating to Australia with his parents aged about ten not be eligible for both the Wallabies and the All Blacks? Or one born in American Samoa who lives in New Zealand from age three not be allowed to be an All Black (or an American Eagle)?

    It's a different story for players who migrate as adults for the specific purpose of having a professional rugby career, especially when so many of them also use the heritage rule to evade the residency requirement. The problem, of course, is that in closing that loophole you'd also be denying the likes of Samoa and Tonga access to at least 80% of their potential player pool, given the vast majority of their players have never actually lived there for an extended period.

    I think we have to look at a split system, one set of rules for the wealthy Tier 1+ nations, and another for everyone else, Tier 1+ being the members of the Six Nations and SANZAAR, plus Japan, Canada and USA in recognition of their financial power.

    Tier 1+ eligibility
    By birth
    By birth of a parent or grandparent AND three years residency
    By five years residency

    Tier 2 eligibility
    By birth
    By birth of a parent or grandparent
    By one year residency
    By one year stand-down after representing a Tier 1 nation

    I think this strikes a balance that discourages Tier 1 nations from stacking their teams with imports while still allowing Samoa, Tonga and others to access their heritage players, including after they've represented a Tier 1 nation. Players already qualified under the existing system would obviously retain their eligibility, but I'd make the "switch back" clause retroactive to allow for the Fekitoa scenario mentioned above.
  2. Highlander35 Paul McLean (56)

    Likes Received:
    This isn't Cricket.

    Every nation is a Test Playing Nation.

    One set of rules for everyone, regardless of what they are.

    There should be a method for players who have say, less than 20 caps and haven't played for the side for a period of time to change allegiances on a case by case basis.

    I'd like to change all A sides, U20s etc. to preventing the gaining of new residency a la the round ball game rather than nominating one that locks you in.

    And as long as there's a grandfathering, I'd be more than happy for the residency to go to 5 years too.
  3. Sully John Eales (66)

    Likes Received:
    I am in favour of a five year residency plan. Not so sure about players being able to switch allegiance from tier one to tier two bit maybe allowing to be decided on a case by case basis.

    Sent from my D5833 using Tapatalk
  4. neilc Syd Malcolm (24)

    Likes Received:
    I definitely like the option for those who have represented Tier 1 nations to represent Tier 2 later on, although perhaps there needs to be some sort of ceiling on it like have only played a limited number of matches for Tier 1 - this way you don't get the really established veterans who had a good run at Tier 1 just extending their time at T2, instead you get those who maybe played a handful of matches for Tier 1 and then never got another look in but are good enough still to really offer a lot to the Tier 2 country that probably their family is from. I'm sure you can think of plenty of examples of guys who have played a couple of times for the ABs or Wallabies and even NH sides and never been seen again in the jersey. Let them be eligible for their country of family origin and contribute to them. Often these guys held off because of the more valuable opportunities with the Tier 1 sides.
  5. Caputo Alfred Walker (16)

    Likes Received:
    I disagree on set number of years residence but should have to be citizens or eligible by birth up to Grandparents.
  6. Highlander35 Paul McLean (56)

    Likes Received:
    Disagree with Citizenship.

    Way too much to deal with. Lack of Uniformity in time for starters, followed by shit like some countries not allowing dual nationals (Japan being the big one in the top 2 tiers), then having to deal with the shit show that is the British Isles (4 Nations, 2 "Countries" and 3 good sized "crown dependencies"). Hong Kong has some funny stuff going on too, between the British Holdover Laws and the Mainland China Governance.

    I'd imagine that Unscrupulous Unions could also buy Citizenships for foreigners in very short periods of time, particularly given Sevens is at the Olympic level.
  7. Forcefield Chilla Wilson (44)

    Likes Received:
    I wouldn't object to 5 years if it did not have to be continuous. The main problem as I see it is player drain from the Pacific Islands. Better to focus energies on strengthening pathways and having professional competition there. Other than that- make the rule that only two players per nation may be capped per year on the grounds of residency (or one?). But I doubt that will change anything. You Pacific Islanders will still go to France for the big pay checks.
  8. liquor box Peter Fenwicke (45)

    Likes Received:
    This give rich countries lie the Arab Emirates to recruit quality players, put them up in luxury accommodation and then in 2 years have a great team.

    They already do similar things with African distance runners and soccer players from Brazil.

    Imagine if after the last world cup the best players from the Wallabies, All Blacks and Springboks chose to have a year off to get fit and recover from any surgeries then trained hard for a year before playing for the UAE. They would have a year of residency and then a year of stand down.

    I am pretty sure that the team that would be assembled would be ranked 2nd or third in the world even with advancing age.
  9. waiopehu oldboy Rod McCall (65)

    Likes Received:
    I'm not generally a fan of affirmative action-type programs but in this case I think the resource gap between what I've termed T1+ & everyone else is so huge & impossible to bridge that we have to give the T2's some help so they can go up against the big boys & have a realistic chance of winning.
  10. TOCC Guest

    Likes Received:
    What will the changes actually achieve rather then empowering northern hemisphere clubs more?

    Lets say they change the eligibility rules and players like Naivalu, Tupou, Speight, Kepu etc wouldn't have been eligible for Australia. They can then head to the Northern Hemisphere but those clubs are renowned for playing hardball for the minnow countries to get test players released, to the point of paying islanders more money to tell their respective nation that they have retired from Test rugby.

    What happens to guys like Naivalu, he wasn't poached from the islands, he moved to Australia on his own accord and was identified through grass roots programs in Australia. If the eligibility rules are changed then its likely guys like him will be unable to be signed to an Australia Super Rugby team.

    Yes there are countries, clubs and people exploiting pacific islands rugby union talent, however on the flip side, rugby union presents an opportunity for pacific islanders to earn a living. For many of the juniors who have moved to Australia, it gives them an opportunity to earn an education in Australia on the back of their rugby union talent.

    In terms of exploitation of pacific islands talent, i don't think Test rugby is the issue, its the clubs in the northern hemisphere who are exploiting young players, World Rugby needs to direct its efforts onto these.
  11. Highlander35 Paul McLean (56)

    Likes Received:
    France =/= Northern Hemisphere

    Pro12 clubs are pretty good at releasing players, can't think of the last time a Tier 2 player wasn't.

    And the young Welsh boys are the worst treated in the English System IMO. Most of them have to remain English eligible or have their contracts torn up, preventing a few from turning out for the U20s.

    Japanese also seem to bring in a lot of Tongans at both school boy and pro level who never seem to play in their national colours.

    Depends what issue you're tackling.

    If it's PI exploitation of individuals, you must start at the Semi-Professional French level.

    If it's the residency rule, it's the residency rule, and you change it.

    If it's the performance of PI nations due to player unavailability, then you need to make sweeping changes on a contractual level, that probably looks like significant financial penalties to Unions, and significant competition penalties to clubs that disallow players from playing internationals, whether that's forced retirement like Census Johnson (yes, I'm retired, oh wait, we're playing the All Blacks, hang on, I know, I was "home for my off season holiday" and "they suffered a late injury", so I offered my services temporarily) or in loss of funds, either direct non-payment, or ineligibility for some sort of availability bonus.
  12. waiopehu oldboy Rod McCall (65)

    Likes Received:
    France reckon that no matter what WR do to Reg 8 they'll no longer pick anyone who doesn't have a French passport:


    No mention of when this will happen but if true then it's a huge change in FFR's position but of course it's not going to stop the Top 14 clubs going after T2 talent so maybe there's some smoke & mirrors going on? Does anyone know how hard is it for a foreigner to get a French passport?
  13. Highlander35 Paul McLean (56)

    Likes Received:
    According to British Immigration website, 5 Continuous years. Must speak fluent French and be integrated into French society, with a few exceptions, mostly around marriage or being from a former colony (makes boudejal's suggestion of growing rugby in Algeria make a whole lot of sense).


    Someone somewhere will challenge it though. Between Bosman and Kolpak there'll be enough wiggle room for a good quality player from South Africa, or Samoa to pursue, should he be so inclined.
    waiopehu oldboy likes this.
  14. waiopehu oldboy Rod McCall (65)

    Likes Received:
    Much to my surprise the [English] RFU have come out in support of extending qualification by residence from three to five years:


    If France keep to their word & only pick passport holders you'd assume they'd also back a five year residency requirement, which probably just leaves the Celts, Italians & Straya backing the status quo. That may be enough to prevent those backing five years to get the 75% they need, but I don't think that'll be the end of it while Pichot is VP & especially if he succeeds Beaumont as President.
  15. Highlander35 Paul McLean (56)

    Likes Received:
    The last real hurdle issue for the Celtic Nations will probably be a well established Grandfathering period, so that at some point, they can say: all of the "development" players we currently have will have 2 or 3 windows to gain their first cap prior to this change of rules. Following this, we believe raising the residency period to 5 years is fine.
  16. waiopehu oldboy Rod McCall (65)

    Likes Received:
    ^^^^^^^^^^ the changes would have to be framed in such a way that guys already in the process of qualifying under "project player" provisions aren't disadvantaged. I've yet to see anything from WRU, SRU or IRFU that suggests they're willing to give up the three year rule, though.
  17. waiopehu oldboy Rod McCall (65)

    Likes Received:
    According to GRob Bill Pulver now favours five-year residential qualification & Australia's votes could be enough to get it over the line:


    Not sure where she gets the idea NZRU we're ever against it, Steve Tew has been fairly consistent in recent times in saying they would vote for it provided the "heritage player" provisions were kept.
  18. stoff Dave Cowper (27)

    Likes Received:
    Surely southern nations should be looking to negotiate on this. Transfer fees for eligibility changes. Eligibility is only one of the player market issues.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    dru likes this.
  19. Marcelo Ken Catchpole (46)

    Likes Received:
    With these changes what would be the situation of Marika Koroibete? To give a specific example
  20. TOCC Guest

    Likes Received:
    He has been in Australia 5 years so he would qualify anyway.

    Like mentioned earlier there will probably be a grandfather period or transition period, players have made decisions and signed contracts for their future based on the existing rule, so it would be unlikely that the policy will come into effect the day it is signed, rather 18-24months later so that player already committed and in the system still qualify but then no new ones can join.

Share This Page