A World XV of players who COULD transfer to another test team in 2022

A World XV of players who COULD transfer to another test team in 2022

In a groundbreaking move, the World Rugby Council approved an amendment to the sport’s national team representation laws.

This amendment will now permit an international player to transfer from one country to another.

The rule will come into effect from 1 January 2022 and will be subject to the following criteria:

  • The player must stand down from international rugby for 36 months
  • The player must either be born in the country to which they wish to transfer or have a parent or grandparent born in that country
  • Under the revised Regulation 8 criteria, a player may only change union once and each case will be subject to approval by the World Rugby Regulations Committee to preserve integrity.

With this in mind, we take a look at a World XV of players who COULD make use of the amendment next year. Keeping in mind that we did not consider the likes of Malakai Fekitoa, who is already qualified for Tonga, as well as someone like Ngani Laumape who will only become eligible for Tonga in 2023.


1. Alec Hepburn - Australia

Born in Perth, Hepburn earned six tests for England in 2018 but hasn't seen any test action since.

A regular for Exeter Chiefs, Hepburn could be a real asset for Dave Rennie's charges. 


2. Agustín Creevy - Italy

A veteran of 89 test with Argentina, Creevy could make the switch to Italy if he wants to return to test rugby.

The former Los Pumas captain's mother is Italian and he has an Italian passport.


3. Sekope Kepu  - Tonga

Another veteran of the test arena, Kepu played over 100 tests for the Wallabies but could turn out qualifying for Tonga through his parents.

He last played a test match for Australia during the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Former All Black Jeffery Toomaga-Allen qualifies for Samoa too.


4. Vaea Fifita - Tonga

Born in Tonga, Vaea Fifita could join his brother Leva Fifita in playing for Tonga.

The Wasps utility forward last played for New Zealand during the World Cup and would qualify for Tonga in July next year.


5. George Kruis - Netherlands and Canada

The 46 test cap England and Lions lock could play for either the Netherlands or Canada in November next year becoming eligible through his parents.


6. Steven Luatua - Samoa

The 15 test cap All Black last featured on the test stage in 2016 and could represent Samoa in their first test of 2022.

Former England back rower Don Armand could trade England for Zimbabwe. 


7. Jordi Murphy - Spain

The 30-year-old Ulster back rower last played for Ireland at the Rugby World Cup and qualifies for Spain through birth.

Former England back-rower Zach Mercer is now plying his trade with Montpellier in the Top 14 but could turn out for New Zealand in 2022. Mercer qualified for Scotland through residency before he represented England and the change in the ruling would not make him eligible for a transfer now.

A move to New Zealand Super Rugby team could make him eligible for the All Blacks through his father Gary who was born in Tauranga, New Zealand and played for the All Blacks.


8. Victor Vito - Samoa

Victor Vito is likely to make the switch to Samoa having last played for the All Blacks in 2015.

Italy legend Sergio Parisse could also transfer to Argentina, which is less likely.


9. Morgan Parra - Portugal

The 71 test cap France international could turn out for Portugal.

Morgan's father Antonio is Portuguese.

Former All Black scrumhalf Augustine Pulu could transfer to Tonga too. 


10. Lima Sopoaga - Samoa

Sopoaga played the last of his 16 tests for the All Blacks back in 2017 and could transfer to Samoa immediately through his parents.


11. Israel Folau - Tonga

Folau could make his return to rugby union with Tonga qualifying through his parents.

Tonga coach Kefu told RNZ Folau has been in contact about playing for the ‘Ikale Tahi.

“He’s Tongan, he’s a bloody good player – we’re more than happy to have him and accommodate him… We’d have no concerns,” Kefu said about the prospect of the 73-test Australian international playing test rugby for Tonga.


12. George Moala - Tonga

Moala represented Tonga at u20 level and could return to the red jersey next year after a 5-year test hiatus.

Toulouse centre Pita Ahki could also make the switch to Tonga after he was captured by New Zealand through the sevens side.  


13. Alex Lozowski - Italy

Lozowski played his most recent test for England in 2018. With Eddie Jones overlooking the Saracens star, he could transfer to Italy through his Italian grandmother.

Former Wallaby Joe Tomane could switch to Samoa and former All Black Seta Tamanivalu could switch to Fiji. Tevita Kuridrani could also trade Australia for Fiji.


14. Julian Savea - Samoa

There is no shortage of wingers as Henry Speight, Taqele Naiyaravoro and Waisake Naholo could all turn out for Fiji next year.

Former All Black Julian Savea is qualified to represent Samoa through his parents next year.


15. Charles Piutau - Tonga

Charles Piutau looks set to make his return to the test arena in 2022.

The Bristol Bears' fullback has expressed his desire to represent Tonga after his brother Siale captained the side.


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