Switching Test teams may be far simpler by 2022

Switching Test teams may be far simpler by 2022

Players may switch test teams next year if proposed changes are voted in by World Rugby later this month. 

 


The proposed plans would make it possible for players to make a nationality switch after a three-year stand-down period of no international rugby. 

They would only be eligible to do this once in their careers. Provided they have a "close and credible link" to another country - through birth or the birthplace of parents or grandparents - they would be able to change nationality.

 


The report by BBC rugby union correspondent Chris Jones states that the World Rugby Council will discuss the proposals at the next meeting on 24 November.

 


The changes in the current eligibility rules will require a 75% majority, or 39 of 52 votes, for the ruling to pass.

 

At the moment, the only way a player can switch test teams - once they are already 'captured by one - is by using the 'Olympic Loophole'. Players must stand down from test rugby for four years before representing the other country they qualify for through birth or the birthplace of parents or grandparents in an Olympic Sevens event. 

Former All Blacks centre Malakai Fekitoa recently made use of this loophole. He switched nationality after representing Tonga in Olympic qualifying events, and after winning 24 tests for New Zealand, he is now eligible to play for Tonga.

 

The Pacific Island nations are likely to back the vote, but there may be resistance from other test nations. 

Full Report

Latest News