Rugby | World Rugby to review eligibility protocols

Cape Town – World Rugby may reconsider its eligibility
protocols that allow players to represent a country other than that of their

According to the website, World Rugby
vice-chairperson Agustin Pichot is to lead the inquest into the make-up and
design of the protocols.

The former Argentina scrumhalf and captain is against the
existing rules, that allow a player to represent a country if they have lived
there for three years.

According to Pichot, the period is too short.

“There are special cases where players moved when they
were ten or twelve years old,” he said.

“But just moving to a country, being taken from an
academy, like they are doing in Tonga, and put into play, say, in an Ireland
shirt, I’m against it. I think it is not right.”

Fiji, Samoa and Tonga have suffered from talent drain for
many years and a few of the top tier northern hemisphere nations as well as
Australia and New Zealand regularly field players born in the Islands.

Several South Africans have also represented adopted
countries in recent years.

Ireland, who are currently touring South Africa, boast three
South Africa-born players in their touring squad, namely flank CJ Stander, hooker
Richardt Strauss and lock Quinn Roux.

During last year’s Rugby World Cup in England, there were no
fewer than 15 South African-born players
who represented their adopted nations.

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