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Thread: World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper says Test eligibility rules may be reviewed

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    Champion MI5_Dog's Avatar
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    World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper says Test eligibility rules may be reviewed

    World Rugby chief executive Brett Gosper has indicated that the game's governing body is prepared to review its controversial three-year residency rule for Test eligibility as the combination of cashed-up clubs and global player movement test the international game's standing and integrity like never before in the professional era.

    "I think obviously there is a concentration of club wealth in the northern hemisphere, there's no question that the salaries are very high in France and in England and it's very tempting for players to ply their trade in the northern hemisphere," Gosper told Fairfax Media.

    "Each union in the southern hemisphere must find ways so that it's attractive still for those players to remain where they are, playing in SANZAR competitions, playing with the union they've grown up with and so on, but in terms of the residency laws, this was looked at a few years ago and it was determined that the laws as they were seemed to be right for that particular time.

    "That was about three or four years ago. I know that [World Rugby] president [Bernard] Lapasset has indicated that this may be something we need to look at again in the future, and look at whether the three-year residency is enough to ensure that integrity of the international game, so that may be something that may need to be looked at."

    Pressed on whether the sheer volume of players – and their young age – who have shifted countries had hastened the need for a review, Gosper said: "You want to preserve the specialness of the international game and therefore while club sides are gathering all-stars from around the world, and top international players, I think there is a feeling that there has to be some steps taken to ensure that the profile of the national team has that integrity, so I think in the mind of president Lapasset, who's suggested we do look at this, that would be something that we're considering.''

    Any change to the rule would have enormous global implications. France selected players from South Africa, Fiji and New Zealand (of Samoan heritage) in this year's Six Nations, while Ireland have handed Brian O'Driscoll's famous No.13 jersey to a New Zealander, Jared Payne. Scotland have been buying up young South Africans, New Zealanders and Australians for a number of years with a view to 'converting' them after the three-year residency period.

    For the Wallabies, it would be something of a double-edged sword. International recruiters, especially the French, are clearly targeting young, uncapped Australians such as Paul Alo-Emile, but on the other hand an extension to the three-year period could hit the likes of rising Rebels winger Sefanaia Naivalu, a Fijian. Henry Speight, another Fijian import, would still not be eligible if, for example, the residency period was lengthened to five years.

    The three-year residency period has been lambasted for being too short, allowing players to effectively change nationality with too much ease, and Gosper suggested that opinion was gathering strength in the top echelons of the governing body.

    "When that [the residency rule] was determined, I don't think there was quite the flow of of players in international movement that it's become in recent years, through Europe and Japan, and so on," he said. "So maybe it's time to take a look at that, and see if that's correct or some adjustment needs to be made."

    Such a change is not an immediate possibility. "That's something that would have to be voted on by the World Rugby council,'' Gosper said. ''It's not just a simple decision. It would be the result of some work by a working group and then a vote and so on, and require quite strong support for any change to be made to the residency rules.''

    Nevertheless, critics of the rule will be cheering from the rooftops that World Rugby has even put it up for discussion.

    Gosper also reaffirmed his determination to keep enforcing the so-called 'Regulation 9', the World Rugby rule that forces clubs to release their players for international duties. "It's critical that those players are available because international rugby drives in large part the economics of the game,'' Gosper said. ''We're determined to protect Reg 9, which protects the international game.''

    That, no doubt, will be music to the ears of the Australian Rugby Union as it prepares to select more and more players who are contracted to overseas clubs.

    http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-union/un...03-1mz3is.html

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    Veteran chibi's Avatar
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    The current test residency qualification has proven to be an anachronism is in the age of of big money contracts/scholarships. Nice to see them finally looking at this.

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    Japan and the Pacific Islands for Aussie Super 9's!

    Let's have one of these in WA! Click this link: Saitama Super Arena - New Perth Stadium?

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    I would also like to see players originally of second tier counties be still eligable for automatic selection after having been selected and played a handful of games for a first tier country. David Smith is an example of what I mean.Born and raised in Samoa-scholarship to Mt Albert Grammar in Auckland-play 7's for New Zealand and never allowed to play for Samoa again. I'm not suggesting Smith would have been good enough to play test match football for Samoa. but with his hat in the ring and players like him it would make for stronger competition for spots in these teams. A stronger Samoa etc makes for a stronger world cup.

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    Veteran beige's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by taylor View Post
    I would also like to see players originally of second tier counties be still eligable for automatic selection after having been selected and played a handful of games for a first tier country. David Smith is an example of what I mean.Born and raised in Samoa-scholarship to Mt Albert Grammar in Auckland-play 7's for New Zealand and never allowed to play for Samoa again. I'm not suggesting Smith would have been good enough to play test match football for Samoa. but with his hat in the ring and players like him it would make for stronger competition for spots in these teams. A stronger Samoa etc makes for a stronger world cup.
    It was discussed at the highest level but the Celtic countries voted it down - too much of a threat to them I guess. As it is, it took the Olympic loophole to force something through.

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    I think the real solution to this problem, without making it too difficult for a player to qualify at all is to work on the numbers of foreign players in European rugby competition. There are simply too many spots available to be taken by all and sundry looking to get a high pay packet out of playing the sport.

    If Toulon had to make a choice between signing Matt Giteau or Paul Alo-Emile (for example) they would think twice. Giteau brings experience and quality, but is likely to be a shorter term prospect, PAE brings uncertainty, but the promise of a much longer career with the club.

    At the moment, it appears that those decisions simply aren't hard enough. World Rugby should propose some guidelines by which every country's top club/provincial teams must select foreign players. (Might I suggest that the Australian model probably isn't a bad place to start)

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    Legend Contributor Alison's Avatar
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    I don't think clubs like Toulon care about (or have any interest in) developing players. They just want to cream off the top from everywhere else, offer them a pay packet they'd be stupid to refuse, and parachute them in. I hate that, and would dearly love the IRB to curb that in some way.

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    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alison View Post
    I don't think clubs like Toulon care about (or have any interest in) developing players. They just want to cream off the top from everywhere else, offer them a pay packet they'd be stupid to refuse, and parachute them in. I hate that, and would dearly love the IRB to curb that in some way.
    Exactly why I suggest that the governing body should take some steps to ensure the future viability of the game isn't threatened by mercenary twats who are simply looking to make a short term dollar in any way they possibly can.

    The IRB is headed up by a Frenchman for gods sake, surely he can negotiate a meaningful response.

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    C'mon the

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