Rugby World Cup - Eligibility, Poaching etc

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 10 Sep 2019, 7:04 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
https://rugby365.com/countries/argentina/world-cup-players-born-abroad

To try and avoid other threads getting caught up in discussions about player eligibility and following recent comments from Agustin Pichot and Danny Care I have set up this thread with the above article as a starter. Taken from a NZ website it is as you would expect defensive of NZ. A WoL article would do the same for Wales as would joe.ie etc etc.

Some key things:


Birth does not always tell the full story.

Some examples then given where place of birth is not always relevant.


Number of Foreign-born Players per Country

19 Samoa
16 Tonga
15 USA
14 Japan, Scotland
12 Australia
8 Italy, Wales
7 England
5 France
4 Canada, Fiji, Ireland, New Zealand
1 Georgia, Russia South Africa
0 Argentina, Namibia, Uruguay

The Main Donors
48 New Zealand
18 England
13 Australia, South Africa
8 Tonga
7 Fiji
6 Ireland

It should be noted that these numbers are not necessarily correct. England have 6 players not born in England, the guys writing the article just cannot count.
Now the warning (and I may regret starting this thread):
This is not an excuse to slag off other countries. Please concentrate on your own country as much as possible, after all are you actually losing players you want to keep? 




Just seen this from care as well on the bbc:

Players are just pawns. You look at it and is there much loyalty in it? Maybe not," he told Rugby Union Weekly.

"Some are given an easier route than those who worked a fair bit harder."

Subscribe to the BBC's Rugby Union Weekly podcast

Care, 32, has won 84 England caps, but only one of those has come at a World Cup. He was ruled out of the 2011 tournament with a toe injury and was third-choice scrum-half in 2015, making a solitary appearance in England's 60-3 dead-rubber win over Uruguay.

He says that he holds no hard feelings towards Heinz, who moved to Gloucester in 2015 from Canterbury-based Crusaders, but believes the current eligibility rules are unfair.

Second row Devin Toner was overlooked for Ireland's World Cup squad in favour of South Africa-born Jean Kleyn, who served out the required three-year residency period in August.

At 33, Toner is unlikely to be in contention for a place at France 2023

World Rugby vice president Agustin Pichot tweeted that he was sympathetic to Toner's predicament. The governing body has already changed the rule, extending the residency period to five years from the end of 2020.

"I started playing rugby at five in England, dreamed of playing for my country in a World Cup," continued Care.

"You do all the hard work, you stay in England, don't look to play for a club abroad to make more money because you want to play for England and win a World Cup - now that is not going to happen.

"A lot of players who have done well for whatever country and it comes to the World Cup, the pinnacle, where you hope that loyalty and hard work is paid back and it is taken away from you. That is the disappointment. That is why is hurts so much."

You can understand the bitterness but it's a little me me me and somehow being owed. Comes back for me to those comments coming out about how it's a better atmosphere in the england camp these days. Perhaps you dont want those players who perhaps spit their dummy out a little?


Last edited by LondonTiger on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 9:00 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Because I am not great at merging threads - LT)

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 7:15 am

Tbf to Care, without seeing the questions asked, or any responses omitted, an interview like this can always look narcissistic. 

The key message that Care needs to take on board, and he may have and it does not come out, is a guy like Heinz has only been selected because the Coach believes he serves the team better.

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Post by carpet baboon on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 8:12 am

To be fair I have listened to the podcast and it does come across as I deserved it as I have been here longer.
Sounds similar to what luke Fitzgerald has been saying on his podcast.

What they both seem to miss is that it's a professional sport and coaches are judged on results, if it's within the rules then, personally pick the players best suited to win games.
If it's local lad who's been in the system for years then great. If it's a guy who moved here or who's granny is from here, well who cares.

He pulls on the top and gives his all to win same as every other player.

This nationalistic jingoism is bullocks in my mind

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 8:43 am

Discussions on eligibility are probably best left to another thread to avoid derailing this one. We do all have pretty strong views Very Happy

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 8:44 am

Ha. I do still think though that it's the public reaction to that sort of issue which will make up jones mind as much as anything else.

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 8:55 am

https://rugby365.com/countries/argentina/world-cup-players-born-abroad

To try and avoid other threads getting caught up in discussions about player eligibility and following recent comments from Agustin Pichot and Danny Care I have set up this thread with the above article as a starter. Taken from a NZ website it is as you would expect defensive of NZ. A WoL article would do the same for Wales as would joe.ie etc etc.

Some key things:


Birth does not always tell the full story.

Some examples then given where place of birth is not always relevant.


Number of Foreign-born Players per Country

19 Samoa
16 Tonga
15 USA
14 Japan, Scotland
12 Australia
8 Italy, Wales
7 England
5 France
4 Canada, Fiji, Ireland, New Zealand
1 Georgia, Russia South Africa
0 Argentina, Namibia, Uruguay

The Main Donors
48 New Zealand
18 England
13 Australia, South Africa
8 Tonga
7 Fiji
6 Ireland

It should be noted that these numbers are not necessarily correct. England have 6 players not born in England, the guys writing the article just cannot count.
Now the warning (and I may regret starting this thread):
This is not an excuse to slag off other countries. Please concentrate on your own country as much as possible, after all are you actually losing players you want to keep? 

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Post by carpet baboon on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 9:02 am

For me it's simple.

People move for work all the time, rugby is no different, so if the rules allow it no issues.

Also borders are a ridiculous concept and should be done away with completely.

Free movement for all

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 9:26 am

As I have said on numerous threads I am not overly enamoured with the current/old eligibility rules. I want players to have an emotional connection to my country when pulling on the national shirt. Not sure that is jingoistic per se as it is the "national" team. For me 3 years is not enough time to build up that connection - yet I can cope with the likes of Heinz who at least has been over here playing ahead of guys who pull on the England shirt due to a parent or grandparent yet have never been here and to all intents and purposes do not feel English.

Some of this is also practical - if guys are playing week in week out with and against their peers it is easier to tell if they are, in our view, "good enough". Now I fully accept that we have eligibility rules and any coach would be an idiot not to use these to select his best team. I do however wonder whether coaches take into account that players who really want to wear that jersey, to who it is important are likely to raise their levels just a bit? Now it may be hypocritical of me to say this, being that I am not a fan of the kind of jingoism we have seen in teh UK press over the last few years, but when it comes to international sport national pride is an important part. If it was a decision between two players of very similar ability then I feel the "native" would provide that fraction more and should be selected. Of course as a fan emotion comes into it.

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Post by LordDowlais on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 9:28 am

Where people are born is a massive red herring.

Wales have a lot of players born in England, but they have lived in Wales since before they could talk. The problems I take with all this, are players with Grandparents who moved away 50 or so years ago, resident players, project players.

For my liking, I would scrap the grandparent rule, and increase the residency to 6 years.

Hadleigh Parkes and Tomas Francis should not be playing for Wales, but I am not disappointed they are, but I am uneasy about it.

Talupe Faletua moved to Wales when he was about 4 or 5 years old, and with the free borders in the UK, it is hard to nail down an international identity. But most of the Welsh players born in England either moved to Wales before they could walk, or have a parent who are Welsh, and in some instances, had a parent who played for Wales as well.

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Post by carpet baboon on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 9:37 am

I understand people wanting an emotional connection, and national pride, but how do you know they don't?
They are professional players, they give there all in every game, if they didn't they wouldn't get picked.
The work they do in international training camps is brutal, if they didn't care they wouldn't do it, for me it's that simple.



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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 9:39 am

As far as players donated by England goes, Wales take the biggest chunk, but in most cases these are accidents of birth. I view Francis and Ball as English - being they were born and raised as English. However Francis had never been looked at by the England system and Ball had emigrated to Australia with his family when the Scarlets were alerted to him. Francis may have pushed Cole, but I do not think either would have made the England squad.

Polledri is a good player but neither he nor Braley would be anywhere near the England squad. Amusing though that two English born Gloucester Players are going to the WC with Italy, while the only Gloucester player in the England squad is Heinz. 

Of the five English born Scots, only Hamish Watson would make our squad. Despite being born in Manchester, and attending the Leicester Academy, with a name like Hamish he is most certainly Scottish.

Then we have a couple in the US squad who are, well, in the US squad. Very Happy

So I say good luck to these guys.

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Post by LordDowlais on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 9:41 am

I would also add, that I am Welsh, I would not want to represent any other country in anything, ever. My mother was born in Bromsgrove, it's where her mother was from, my Mother then moved to Wales with her English mother, and Welsh father when she was a baby.

With this rule, I could consider myself English, uuurrghhh..... Hug

But I am Welsh, I am born and bred Welsh. The only other nationality I would affiliate myself with is British. I am very uneasy with the eligibility rules within rugby. Also, I am very uneasy with the way some nations exploit these rules more than others.

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Post by tigertattie on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 9:45 am

Its an emotive subject which causes people to think with their hearts more than their heads!

World Rugby have already increased the years for residency so that may help matters.

For me it's the Project player that I have issue with. I'll give you two examples of this to show you where I'm coming from.

David Denton, born and raised outside of Scotland, moved to Scotland for University and while here, played rugby and caught the eyes of the SRU who took him into the Scotland setup and was eventually selected to play for us. Absolutely no issue with this whatsoever. To me this is a man who moved to Scotland and ended up playing rugby for us.

WP Nel, born and raised outside of Scotland, was playing Pro rugby in SA when a SRU scout spotted him and they asked him to come over, play club rugby for 3 years and then get selected for Scotland. While I'm glad we have him, for me this shouldn’t be allowed.

And I don’t get the argument that this allows nations with not as much resources to get a fairer share of the player pool. It allows unions with more money to select the players they want!
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Post by Soul Requiem on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 9:46 am

The rules do need to be tightened up and to be honest I strongly disagree with the residency rules when they apply to players who have only ever lived somewhere in adult life, Faletau and Tuilagi spent their informative years in the country they represent but Parkes and Nel simply play for convenience.


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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 9:47 am

carpet baboon wrote:I understand people wanting an emotional connection, and national pride, but how do you know they don't?
They are professional players, they give there all in every game,  if they didn't they wouldn't get picked.
The work they do in international training camps is brutal, if they didn't care they wouldn't do it, for me it's that simple.



My issue is with the guys selected before they even touch a ball in English rugby. The likes of Te'o and Shields for example. I would have had little issue with Shields moving to England, playing for Wasps then being selected but being flown straight from NZ to SA to get capped does not sit well with me. Te'o is perhaps a prime example of the sporting mercenary. Then we have Nathan Hughes who turned down the chance to play for Fiji in RWC 2015 to protect his bid to be EQP. He was doing this to increase his value to English clubs with the later selection for England a bonus.

Of course none of these three have gone to Japan, so I am perhaps making a fuss over nothing.

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Post by bsando on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 9:50 am

"...you hope that loyalty and hard work is paid back and it is taken away from you. That is the disappointment. That is why is hurts so much."

I have a big problem with that sentence from Care. He seems to consider his position in the England squad as a given and that EJ, by selecting Heinz, has taken said place away from him. I think that says a lot.

My thinking would be that every camp is a new slate. A players experience, talent and potential get them into that camp (in cares case his 80+ caps and previous success as a player). Who the coach selects for the final squad is up to him (in this case, Heinz because EJ must like what he sees in him).

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Post by carpet baboon on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 9:50 am

When you talk about the emotional side of it being a positive it can equally be a negative.
Rory best recently talked about why he doesn't sing the anthems, as it gets him too emotional and he couldn't concentrate on the job at hand.
Haven't we all seen that player belting out the anthem to then charge headlong from the kick off just to give away a stupid penalty.
Or the player that shrinks under the expectations of doing it for his country?

Give me cold eyed professionalism every time

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Post by carpet baboon on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 9:51 am

bsando wrote:"...you hope that loyalty and hard work is paid back and it is taken away from you. That is the disappointment. That is why is hurts so much."

I have a big problem with that sentence from Care. He seems to consider his position in the England squad as a given and that EJ, by selecting Heinz, has taken said place away from him. I think that says a lot.

My thinking would be that every camp is a new slate. A players experience, talent and potential get them into that camp (in cares case his 80+ caps and previous success as a player). Who the coach selects for the final squad is up to him (in this case, Heinz because EJ must like what he sees in him).

Also this is totally correct.

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Post by LordDowlais on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 9:53 am

LondonTiger wrote:As far as players donated by England goes, Wales take the biggest chunk, but in most cases these are accidents of birth. I view Francis and Ball as English - being they were born and raised as English. However Francis had never been looked at by the England system and Ball had emigrated to Australia with his family when the Scarlets were alerted to him. Francis may have pushed Cole, but I do not think either would have made the England squad.

Polledri is a good player but neither he nor Braley would be anywhere near the England squad. Amusing though that two English born Gloucester Players are going to the WC with Italy, while the only Gloucester player in the England squad is Heinz. 

Of the five English born Scots, only Hamish Watson would make our squad. Despite being born in Manchester, and attending the Leicester Academy, with a name like Hamish he is most certainly Scottish.

Then we have a couple in the US squad who are, well, in the US squad. Very Happy

So I say good luck to these guys.

I really think you need to look at the English rugby scouting system if you are miffed by this sort of thing though. Every year the English clubs send hundreds of scouts to Wales, and they try and cherry pick all our best youngsters and offer them college and university deals. I would not like to put a number on how many Welsh kids have been offered scholarships at schools like Hartpury, Millfield, Oakham School, Clifton Rugby School and Filton, which have strong rugby set-ups.

At one point last year, I think there were over 20 young Welsh players at Harpury alone. Shocked

A lot of these then most of the time, end up in the English academies, and they are potentially lost to Wales. There is a system in place mind, where certain people from within the WRU are keeping tabs on these players. But when they are nearing the 1st teams, they are being encouraged not to nail their allegiance to the country of their birth, so the English clubs can reap the benefits that the RFU award for producing English talent.

This is a two way street. Also, do not get me started on how the Islands of the Pacific, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji benefit from having players with heritage that have gone through the New Zealand system, although, I do not feel that sorry for New Zealand as they get to cherry pick the best ones.

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 9:58 am

LordDowlais wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:As far as players donated by England goes, Wales take the biggest chunk, but in most cases these are accidents of birth. I view Francis and Ball as English - being they were born and raised as English. However Francis had never been looked at by the England system and Ball had emigrated to Australia with his family when the Scarlets were alerted to him. Francis may have pushed Cole, but I do not think either would have made the England squad.

Polledri is a good player but neither he nor Braley would be anywhere near the England squad. Amusing though that two English born Gloucester Players are going to the WC with Italy, while the only Gloucester player in the England squad is Heinz. 

Of the five English born Scots, only Hamish Watson would make our squad. Despite being born in Manchester, and attending the Leicester Academy, with a name like Hamish he is most certainly Scottish.

Then we have a couple in the US squad who are, well, in the US squad. Very Happy

So I say good luck to these guys.

I really think you need to look at the English rugby scouting system if you are miffed by this sort of thing though. Every year the English clubs send hundreds of scouts to Wales, and they try and cherry pick all our best youngsters and offer them college and university deals. I would not like to put a number on how many Welsh kids have been offered scholarships at schools like Hartpury,  Millfield, Oakham School, Clifton Rugby School and Filton, which have strong rugby set-ups.

At one point last year, I think there were over 20 young Welsh players at Harpury alone. Shocked

A lot of these then most of the time, end up in the English academies, and they are potentially lost to Wales. There is a system in place mind, where certain people from within the WRU are keeping tabs on these players. But when they are nearing the 1st teams, they are being encouraged not to nail their allegiance  to the country of their birth, so the English clubs can reap the benefits that the RFU award for producing English talent.

This is a two way street. Also, do not get me started on how the Islands of the Pacific, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji benefit from having players with heritage that have gone through the New Zealand system, although, I do not feel that sorry for New Zealand as they get to cherry pick the best ones.

Noting that I am not miffed, nor did anything I write suggest I was miffed. We have Reffell and Costelow at Tigers. Both are Welsh through and through and hopefully will play for Wales one day. As a club we are not telling them to "be English". Sure we might lose some money from the RFU, but all along we have said our aim is to make them good enough to play for their country, ie Wales.

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Post by BamBam on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 10:01 am

Which bit of LT's post makes it sound like he's "miffed by this sort of thing"

Would you prefer if young kids weren't offered opportunities at schools that would be wildly beyond their reach, just in case they are one day good enough to play rugby at an international level?

Surely the opportunities that the 99% of kids who don't make it as international rugby players receive off the back of some time spent at top private schools are a good thing, especially when its for those kids whose parents are probably unable to pay for these schools off their own back?


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Post by LordDowlais on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 10:03 am

LondonTiger wrote:Noting that I am not miffed, nor did anything I write suggest I was miffed. We have Reffell and Costelow at Tigers. Both are Welsh through and through and hopefully will play for Wales one day. As a club we are not telling them to "be English". Sure we might lose some money from the RFU, but all along we have said our aim is to make them good enough to play for their country, ie Wales.

Certain players who are at Englsish clubs have refused to play for the Welsh U20's as we use that age grade level as a capping tool. Now I am not saying that those two have done this, they were in the last 6N squad, but players have in the past refused.

Also, I do apologise, but I took the tone of your post as being a little off with the situation. OK

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 10:09 am

LordDowlais wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:Noting that I am not miffed, nor did anything I write suggest I was miffed. We have Reffell and Costelow at Tigers. Both are Welsh through and through and hopefully will play for Wales one day. As a club we are not telling them to "be English". Sure we might lose some money from the RFU, but all along we have said our aim is to make them good enough to play for their country, ie Wales.

Certain players who are at Englsish clubs have refused to play for the Welsh U20's as we use that age grade level as a capping tool. Now I am not saying that those two have done this, they were in the last 6N squad, but players have in the past refused.

Fair enough. Not aware of these players I must admit.

I thought Using U20s as the second level national team had been stopped now?

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Post by Rugby Fan on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 10:11 am

In England, one recent controversial player is Ben Te'o but it's hard to see what rules would have made him ineligible for us, as he has an English mother, and holds a British passport.

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 10:14 am

Rugby Fan wrote:In England, one recent controversial player is Ben Te'o but it's hard to see what rules would have made him ineligible for us, as he has an English mother, and holds a British passport.

Being a complete knob is indeed no reason not to select a guy. Arguably such a rule could (depending on who judges) rule out most of our players Very Happy

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Post by LordDowlais on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 10:16 am

One player that always sticks in my craw, for me was Riki Flutey, as soon as he gained eligibility he buggered off to France, he also played for and against the B&I Lions.

Also, do not get me started on Graham Henry's time with Wales. steam

But at least he did it out of necessity, as we had just lost about 30 players to rugby league. Crying or Very sad but it still did not make what he had done right.

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 10:19 am

Surely the rugby league lot had returned by the time Henry was coach Wink

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Post by LordDowlais on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 10:22 am

LondonTiger wrote:Surely the rugby league lot had returned by the time Henry was coach Wink

Not all of them, he managed to get Quinelle and Gibbs back, but a lot of them stayed. We did not really recover until circa 2003, we lost about two or three generations to league during the 80's and 90's.

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 10:47 am

LordDowlais wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:Surely the rugby league lot had returned by the time Henry was coach Wink

Not all of them, he managed to get Quinelle and Gibbs back, but a lot of them stayed. We did not really recover until circa 2003, we lost about two or three generations to league during the 80's and 90's.
Until late 80s Wales usually lost a lot of players to RL that were not quite good enough to play international rugby. From 1989-91 you did indeed lose a lot of internationals throw in Gibbs and Quinnell leaving in 94 and Wales were hampered in 1995. By 1999 though I would argue that the players that left had either returned or frankly were too old.

Dai Young, Scott Quinnell, Allan Bateman and Scott Gibbs all featured in the 99 WC.

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Post by Taylorman on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 11:44 am

carpet baboon wrote:
bsando wrote:"...you hope that loyalty and hard work is paid back and it is taken away from you. That is the disappointment. That is why is hurts so much."

I have a big problem with that sentence from Care. He seems to consider his position in the England squad as a given and that EJ, by selecting Heinz, has taken said place away from him. I think that says a lot.

My thinking would be that every camp is a new slate. A players experience, talent and potential get them into that camp (in cares case his 80+ caps and previous success as a player). Who the coach selects for the final squad is up to him (in this case, Heinz because EJ must like what he sees in him).

Also this is totally correct.

Yeah absolutely no sympathy for Care or Toner. Both weren’t considered good enough amongst the players available. Full stop. The irony is England are actually in the better position by being able to select the best of either. That’s what they did. Big ups for staying loyal but when you operate in an environment that relies so heavily on imported players, some of your locals are gonna get shafted. Must be happening a lot in club rugby.

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Post by robbo277 on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 12:33 pm

As a professional sports player there is a desire to play at the highest level, even if you don't feel affiliated with that country.

There was a jokey discussion on the ITV RWC podcast with Flatman and Shanklin where "Dai Flatman" asked Shanklin how many caps he'd have got if he was Welsh. The answer was "around 30 or 40". When contrasted with the 8 England caps he actually won, Flatman said "I wouldn't change a thing" in a kinda mocking tone, before admitting he probably would.

Now Flatman is a proud Englishman, born in Kent, played all his club rugby in England, but he openly admits he would have rather played for a different country and had a proper International career.

Players will always play for countries they may not feel affiliated with, because they want to play. An outstanding German rugby player with no affinity for England might play for England because he wants to play Six Nations and Rugby World Cups. A very average level two English rugby player with no affinity for Germany might play for Germany because he just wants International caps and has no chance of making the England team.

The role International rugby has is to find the balance between allowing players to switch where they have an affinity for a country and stopping mercenary switches, or the International game will become a glorified club game. The signs are already there, e.g. project players getting special status in Ireland, while English and French clubs bring in so many foreign born players there's no requirement for the RFU or FFR to even need to incentivise the clubs to do similar (or I'm sure they would).

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Post by LordDowlais on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 12:40 pm

LondonTiger wrote:Dai Young, Scott Quinnell, Allan Bateman and Scott Gibbs all featured in the 99 WC.

Yes. two I have already alluded to.

But the thing is, when they came back, Dai Young had hardly scrumaged properly in league, and had to learn again, Scott Quinnell had to learn how to be a number 8 again and they were all older, especially Dai Young and Allan Beteman who were at the end of their careers.

They all had the union game coached out of them. I remember when Quinnell and Gibbs came back, they always used to lose the ball in contact, as in league, when you got tackled, you were allowed back up, they had to re-adjust.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 12:41 pm

Taylorman wrote:
carpet baboon wrote:
bsando wrote:"...you hope that loyalty and hard work is paid back and it is taken away from you. That is the disappointment. That is why is hurts so much."

I have a big problem with that sentence from Care. He seems to consider his position in the England squad as a given and that EJ, by selecting Heinz, has taken said place away from him. I think that says a lot.

My thinking would be that every camp is a new slate. A players experience, talent and potential get them into that camp (in cares case his 80+ caps and previous success as a player). Who the coach selects for the final squad is up to him (in this case, Heinz because EJ must like what he sees in him).

Also this is totally correct.

Yeah absolutely no sympathy for Care or Toner. Both weren’t considered good enough amongst the players available. Full stop. The irony is England are actually in the better position by being able to select the best of either. That’s what they did. Big ups for staying loyal but when you operate in an environment that relies so heavily on imported players, some of your locals are gonna get shafted. Must be happening a lot in club rugby.

Dont know about Care but most people in Ireland feel sorry for Toner because not many people actually think Kleyn is a better player. His value to the team is clearly evident to Schmidt in what he is trying to deliver at the RWC but for everyone else Kleyn's abilities over Toner's appear a little intangible to say the least especially give how key to Ireland Toner has been. Things change though and I trust Schmidt.

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Post by Old Man on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 12:47 pm

Regardless of whether professional rugby players have an affinity for an adopted country or not, the fact of the matter is it all starts with an opportunity to make a living out of rugby.

Those nations that can afford luring players to their clubs will for the most part be nett importers of rugby players.

If you look at the percentage of professional players playing club rugby in countries other than their home nations those making the grade to represent an adopted country is very small.

Enticing players as the example spoken of earlier like Wimpie Nel with promises of International duty might not seem all that ethical, however stopping it is nigh on impossible.

What does irk me are those “foreign” scouts running around Craven week wanting to secure promising young players before they get to represent South Africa in order to procure them potentially for international duty elsewhere.

Again not very ethical, but you will find the majority, especially those in “receipt” of the young talent, don’t care two hoots.

It is what it is, I don’t see changing the residency rule making much difference at all.

Then of course the grandfather rule is very much alive and well for those wanting to exploit it.

It goes further when you look at coaches jumping ship to other nations, it is a job for them and they go where the opportunities.

You can see the results with national teams and foreign coaches, it has certainly improved those teams.

It is a professional sport, and due to the fact that some countries have stronger economies and stronger currencies you won’t stop it.

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Post by LordDowlais on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 12:59 pm

Old Man wrote:It is what it is, I don’t see changing the residency rule making much difference at all.

I think it may deter this project player fiasco, and it would also stop mercenaries.

Old Man wrote:Then of course the grandfather rule is very much alive and well for those wanting to exploit it.

I know, and if it were not for this rule, Scotland and Italy would be up shoite creek.

Old Man wrote:It goes further when you look at coaches jumping ship to other nations, it is a job for them and they go where the opportunities.

But at least then, the coach is not tied to the country.

Old Man wrote:You can see the results with national teams and foreign coaches, it has certainly improved those teams.

Yes I agree, for whatever reason, we cannot produce coaches of the caliber of the SH, and I think this is because we are still behind, although we are catching up. What we have now, is ex players becomming coaches who were coached by amateurs, now, when we have pro players turning their hands to coaching, at least they have the experience with working with better coaches, but I do not think we will be fully up to speed, until the next generation turn into coaches.

Old Man wrote:It is a professional sport, and due to the fact that some countries have stronger economies and stronger currencies you won’t stop it.


Yes, and I believe that the 6N's countries are the most guilty of doing this, we are all as guilty as each other here in the 6N, no other countries are exploiting this to the levels we are, which is a massive shame.

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Post by Soul Requiem on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 1:03 pm

Three years residency for players like Teo who has an English mother seems fair and you then make it seven years or longer for players like Parkes, Hughes and Nel.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 1:08 pm

The main reason there are lots of SH coaches knocking around the NH is because coaching salaries arent that high and therefore ex NH players arent as likely to get into coaching after their rugby career ends when they could make a lot more getting into business.

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Post by The Oracle on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 1:28 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:As far as players donated by England goes, Wales take the biggest chunk, but in most cases these are accidents of birth. I view Francis and Ball as English - being they were born and raised as English. However Francis had never been looked at by the England system and Ball had emigrated to Australia with his family when the Scarlets were alerted to him. Francis may have pushed Cole, but I do not think either would have made the England squad.

Polledri is a good player but neither he nor Braley would be anywhere near the England squad. Amusing though that two English born Gloucester Players are going to the WC with Italy, while the only Gloucester player in the England squad is Heinz. 

Of the five English born Scots, only Hamish Watson would make our squad. Despite being born in Manchester, and attending the Leicester Academy, with a name like Hamish he is most certainly Scottish.

Then we have a couple in the US squad who are, well, in the US squad. Very Happy

So I say good luck to these guys.

I really think you need to look at the English rugby scouting system if you are miffed by this sort of thing though. Every year the English clubs send hundreds of scouts to Wales, and they try and cherry pick all our best youngsters and offer them college and university deals. I would not like to put a number on how many Welsh kids have been offered scholarships at schools like Hartpury,  Millfield, Oakham School, Clifton Rugby School and Filton, which have strong rugby set-ups.

At one point last year, I think there were over 20 young Welsh players at Harpury alone. Shocked

A lot of these then most of the time, end up in the English academies, and they are potentially lost to Wales. There is a system in place mind, where certain people from within the WRU are keeping tabs on these players. But when they are nearing the 1st teams, they are being encouraged not to nail their allegiance  to the country of their birth, so the English clubs can reap the benefits that the RFU award for producing English talent.

This is a two way street. Also, do not get me started on how the Islands of the Pacific, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji benefit from having players with heritage that have gone through the New Zealand system, although, I do not feel that sorry for New Zealand as they get to cherry pick the best ones.


While I do agree with some of your points, LD. In reality I only think this affects our numbers a little at Welsh academy and regional team level. If we were seeing loads of Welsh lads qualifying and, more importantly, being capped by England then it would be a big deal. But which Welsh players, scouted and encouraged over to England for a scholarship, have actually been capped by England? I can't think of any. So the likelihood is that they get a scholarship, get a better education than what is on offer at home (so who can blame them or their parents), get trained by good quality systems in England for free (from a Welsh perspective), and then end up back at us anyway if good enough to play international rugby. Win, win!

Until we see some (any?!) Welsh players turning out for England at senior level then I don't see it being a big scandal really. The English schools and academies have to fill their playing rosters, as do the welsh clubs and academies, but the English have got the carrot of good fees-paid education to dangle which the Welsh clubs don't. So the movement is East rather than West. But it doesn't seem to end up in a loss of Welsh talent from the international game. Also, we've had English players coming this way too when they can't get a look in at their clubs e.g. Sam Underhill at the O's. Not as many but there is a little bit of movement West too.
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Post by Rugby Fan on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 1:29 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:Three years residency for players like Teo who has an English mother seems fair...
Not just a mother, Te'o has a passport. You can't add residency conditions to a citizen.

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Post by Soul Requiem on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 1:31 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:Three years residency for players like Teo who has an English mother seems fair...
Not just a mother, Te'o has a passport. You can't add residency conditions to a citizen.

Of course you can, he has a British passport not an English one.

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Post by LordDowlais on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 1:37 pm

The Oracle wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:As far as players donated by England goes, Wales take the biggest chunk, but in most cases these are accidents of birth. I view Francis and Ball as English - being they were born and raised as English. However Francis had never been looked at by the England system and Ball had emigrated to Australia with his family when the Scarlets were alerted to him. Francis may have pushed Cole, but I do not think either would have made the England squad.

Polledri is a good player but neither he nor Braley would be anywhere near the England squad. Amusing though that two English born Gloucester Players are going to the WC with Italy, while the only Gloucester player in the England squad is Heinz. 

Of the five English born Scots, only Hamish Watson would make our squad. Despite being born in Manchester, and attending the Leicester Academy, with a name like Hamish he is most certainly Scottish.

Then we have a couple in the US squad who are, well, in the US squad. Very Happy

So I say good luck to these guys.

I really think you need to look at the English rugby scouting system if you are miffed by this sort of thing though. Every year the English clubs send hundreds of scouts to Wales, and they try and cherry pick all our best youngsters and offer them college and university deals. I would not like to put a number on how many Welsh kids have been offered scholarships at schools like Hartpury,  Millfield, Oakham School, Clifton Rugby School and Filton, which have strong rugby set-ups.

At one point last year, I think there were over 20 young Welsh players at Harpury alone. Shocked

A lot of these then most of the time, end up in the English academies, and they are potentially lost to Wales. There is a system in place mind, where certain people from within the WRU are keeping tabs on these players. But when they are nearing the 1st teams, they are being encouraged not to nail their allegiance  to the country of their birth, so the English clubs can reap the benefits that the RFU award for producing English talent.

This is a two way street. Also, do not get me started on how the Islands of the Pacific, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji benefit from having players with heritage that have gone through the New Zealand system, although, I do not feel that sorry for New Zealand as they get to cherry pick the best ones.


While I do agree with some of your points, LD.  In reality I only think this affects our numbers a little at Welsh academy and regional team level.  If we were seeing loads of Welsh lads qualifying and, more importantly, being capped by England then it would be a big deal.  But which Welsh players, scouted and encouraged over to England for a scholarship, have actually been capped by England?  I can't think of any.  So the likelihood is that they get a scholarship, get a better education than what is on offer at home (so who can blame them or their parents), get trained by good quality systems in England for free (from a Welsh perspective), and then end up back at us anyway if good enough to play international rugby.  Win, win!

Until we see some (any?!) Welsh players turning out for England at senior level then I don't see it being a big scandal really.  The English schools and academies have to fill their playing rosters, as do the welsh clubs and academies, but the English have got the carrot of good fees-paid education to dangle which the Welsh clubs don't.  So the movement is East rather than West.  But it doesn't seem to end up in a loss of Welsh talent from the international game.  Also, we've had English players coming this way too when they can't get a look in at their clubs e.g. Sam Underhill at the O's.  Not as many but there is a little bit of movement West too.

I am not blaming anyone for any of this, and I am glad some young Welsh kids get these opportunities, all I am pointing out is, that it is a two way street.

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Post by The Oracle on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 1:39 pm

I think there needs to be a distinction between project players and residency qualified too. That distinction is not always easy to make and who knows what is really said and agree behind closed doors. But there are those who seem to be targeted specifically in their home country with the promise/suggestion of becoming eligible in a few years, so are offered a contract to move to a new country specifically on that basis. And there are others, I'm going to say Hadleigh Parkes as an example, who as far as I know was not tapped up by the WRU but was signed by the Scarlets as cover for Welsh players being away with Wales, brought over by the club rather than the union, he had a link to the coach of that club from his time in NZ, and then within a few years had established himself and was then considered good enough to be selected. Subtle differences sometimes. But a true out and out 'project' seems wrong. But a player who moves for work, stays here long enough, does the things an international coach likes and is then deemed worthy of a starting spot...... this just seems more palatable to me than one who is targeted before he's thrown a ball in that country.

This is where it then gets a bit murky and bun fights start to happen because we have different club ownership models. Lets not get in to it now, but you could argue (and plenty have tried on here) that a model like Ireland has the clubs and union as essentially one and so a signing of an overseas player is often union directed and instigated, and may lead to accusations of 'project player' development. Whereas a model with distinct and separate unions and clubs..... the clubs are less likely to take union direction on players and the project player is (possibly) less likely to occur. Possibly Smile
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Post by The Oracle on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 1:42 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
The Oracle wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:As far as players donated by England goes, Wales take the biggest chunk, but in most cases these are accidents of birth. I view Francis and Ball as English - being they were born and raised as English. However Francis had never been looked at by the England system and Ball had emigrated to Australia with his family when the Scarlets were alerted to him. Francis may have pushed Cole, but I do not think either would have made the England squad.

Polledri is a good player but neither he nor Braley would be anywhere near the England squad. Amusing though that two English born Gloucester Players are going to the WC with Italy, while the only Gloucester player in the England squad is Heinz. 

Of the five English born Scots, only Hamish Watson would make our squad. Despite being born in Manchester, and attending the Leicester Academy, with a name like Hamish he is most certainly Scottish.

Then we have a couple in the US squad who are, well, in the US squad. Very Happy

So I say good luck to these guys.

I really think you need to look at the English rugby scouting system if you are miffed by this sort of thing though. Every year the English clubs send hundreds of scouts to Wales, and they try and cherry pick all our best youngsters and offer them college and university deals. I would not like to put a number on how many Welsh kids have been offered scholarships at schools like Hartpury,  Millfield, Oakham School, Clifton Rugby School and Filton, which have strong rugby set-ups.

At one point last year, I think there were over 20 young Welsh players at Harpury alone. Shocked

A lot of these then most of the time, end up in the English academies, and they are potentially lost to Wales. There is a system in place mind, where certain people from within the WRU are keeping tabs on these players. But when they are nearing the 1st teams, they are being encouraged not to nail their allegiance  to the country of their birth, so the English clubs can reap the benefits that the RFU award for producing English talent.

This is a two way street. Also, do not get me started on how the Islands of the Pacific, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji benefit from having players with heritage that have gone through the New Zealand system, although, I do not feel that sorry for New Zealand as they get to cherry pick the best ones.


While I do agree with some of your points, LD.  In reality I only think this affects our numbers a little at Welsh academy and regional team level.  If we were seeing loads of Welsh lads qualifying and, more importantly, being capped by England then it would be a big deal.  But which Welsh players, scouted and encouraged over to England for a scholarship, have actually been capped by England?  I can't think of any.  So the likelihood is that they get a scholarship, get a better education than what is on offer at home (so who can blame them or their parents), get trained by good quality systems in England for free (from a Welsh perspective), and then end up back at us anyway if good enough to play international rugby.  Win, win!

Until we see some (any?!) Welsh players turning out for England at senior level then I don't see it being a big scandal really.  The English schools and academies have to fill their playing rosters, as do the welsh clubs and academies, but the English have got the carrot of good fees-paid education to dangle which the Welsh clubs don't.  So the movement is East rather than West.  But it doesn't seem to end up in a loss of Welsh talent from the international game.  Also, we've had English players coming this way too when they can't get a look in at their clubs e.g. Sam Underhill at the O's.  Not as many but there is a little bit of movement West too.

I am not blaming anyone for any of this, and I am glad some young Welsh kids get these opportunities, all I am pointing out is, that it is a two way street.


I didn't accuse you of blaming, LD!  You mention that they are potentially lost to Wales.  Yes, there's always the potential.  But I don't think it's ever come to fruition.  Until it does then the scouting thing is a bit of a non-issue.  What would be better is for us to look at how best to keep them instead of complaining when they go.  What can we offer to persuade them to stay?  Why can't we offer scholarships?  etc., etc.

Just to add - don't forget we've got the 'Welsh Exiles' programme that looks to keep in touch with those welsh players lost to the Welsh system and to keep them involved and in the loop with the national side. So definitely a two way thing. Just at different points in their careers.
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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 1:47 pm

Oracle,

I think the new 5 year residency will reduce the amount of "Project" players. Not sure when this started though. 

I would add to your Hadleigh Parkes one from England being Mouritz Botha. Ignoring whether he was good enough to play for England, he came over to work (building trade iirc) and travel. He was playing for a junior club in Bedford. He liked it and stayed here - progressing to the proper Bedford Club and getting paid to play. Then Sarries come along he develops further and eventually plays for England. He was not a loss to SA rugby (again ignoring whether England actually gained), paid his dues and was proud to run out in white.

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Post by BamBam on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 1:47 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
The Oracle wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:As far as players donated by England goes, Wales take the biggest chunk, but in most cases these are accidents of birth. I view Francis and Ball as English - being they were born and raised as English. However Francis had never been looked at by the England system and Ball had emigrated to Australia with his family when the Scarlets were alerted to him. Francis may have pushed Cole, but I do not think either would have made the England squad.

Polledri is a good player but neither he nor Braley would be anywhere near the England squad. Amusing though that two English born Gloucester Players are going to the WC with Italy, while the only Gloucester player in the England squad is Heinz. 

Of the five English born Scots, only Hamish Watson would make our squad. Despite being born in Manchester, and attending the Leicester Academy, with a name like Hamish he is most certainly Scottish.

Then we have a couple in the US squad who are, well, in the US squad. Very Happy

So I say good luck to these guys.

I really think you need to look at the English rugby scouting system if you are miffed by this sort of thing though. Every year the English clubs send hundreds of scouts to Wales, and they try and cherry pick all our best youngsters and offer them college and university deals. I would not like to put a number on how many Welsh kids have been offered scholarships at schools like Hartpury,  Millfield, Oakham School, Clifton Rugby School and Filton, which have strong rugby set-ups.

At one point last year, I think there were over 20 young Welsh players at Harpury alone. Shocked

A lot of these then most of the time, end up in the English academies, and they are potentially lost to Wales. There is a system in place mind, where certain people from within the WRU are keeping tabs on these players. But when they are nearing the 1st teams, they are being encouraged not to nail their allegiance  to the country of their birth, so the English clubs can reap the benefits that the RFU award for producing English talent.

This is a two way street. Also, do not get me started on how the Islands of the Pacific, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji benefit from having players with heritage that have gone through the New Zealand system, although, I do not feel that sorry for New Zealand as they get to cherry pick the best ones.


While I do agree with some of your points, LD.  In reality I only think this affects our numbers a little at Welsh academy and regional team level.  If we were seeing loads of Welsh lads qualifying and, more importantly, being capped by England then it would be a big deal.  But which Welsh players, scouted and encouraged over to England for a scholarship, have actually been capped by England?  I can't think of any.  So the likelihood is that they get a scholarship, get a better education than what is on offer at home (so who can blame them or their parents), get trained by good quality systems in England for free (from a Welsh perspective), and then end up back at us anyway if good enough to play international rugby.  Win, win!

Until we see some (any?!) Welsh players turning out for England at senior level then I don't see it being a big scandal really.  The English schools and academies have to fill their playing rosters, as do the welsh clubs and academies, but the English have got the carrot of good fees-paid education to dangle which the Welsh clubs don't.  So the movement is East rather than West.  But it doesn't seem to end up in a loss of Welsh talent from the international game.  Also, we've had English players coming this way too when they can't get a look in at their clubs e.g. Sam Underhill at the O's.  Not as many but there is a little bit of movement West too.

I am not blaming anyone for any of this, and I am glad some young Welsh kids get these opportunities, all I am pointing out is, that it is a two way street.

I think Oracle's post makes it clear that at international level at least, its not a two way street

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Post by Rugby Fan on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 1:52 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:
Rugby Fan wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:Three years residency for players like Teo who has an English mother seems fair...
Not just a mother, Te'o has a passport. You can't add residency conditions to a citizen.

Of course you can, he has a British passport not an English one.
That passport gives him the same employment rights as any other citizen.

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Post by Soul Requiem on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 1:53 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:
Rugby Fan wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:Three years residency for players like Teo who has an English mother seems fair...
Not just a mother, Te'o has a passport. You can't add residency conditions to a citizen.

Of course you can, he has a British passport not an English one.
That passport gives him the same employment rights as any other citizen.

Does it give him the employment right to play for Scotland or Wales?

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Rugby World Cup - Eligibility, Poaching etc Empty Re: Rugby World Cup - Eligibility, Poaching etc

Post by robbo277 on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 1:56 pm

bsando wrote:"...you hope that loyalty and hard work is paid back and it is taken away from you. That is the disappointment. That is why is hurts so much."

I have a big problem with that sentence from Care. He seems to consider his position in the England squad as a given and that EJ, by selecting Heinz, has taken said place away from him. I think that says a lot.

My thinking would be that every camp is a new slate. A players experience, talent and potential get them into that camp (in cares case his 80+ caps and previous success as a player). Who the coach selects for the final squad is up to him (in this case, Heinz because EJ must like what he sees in him).

Should be worth noting that Eddie Jones didn't pick Heinz over Care, not directly anyway. Care got "rested" for the SA tour after an indifferent Six Nations in 2018 and never really got his place back.

Care got another go and benched in the first 2018 Autumn Internationals and then started against Japan with Wigglesworth on the bench, but he got hooked after 60 minutes and then dropped for the next game and the entire Six Nations.

Since Care's last cap at 9 (and not including Ben Youngs), all of Wigglesworth, Robson, Spencer and Heinz have played for England in capped games and Alex Mitchell and Ben White played against the Barbarians.

That Heinz was picked doesn't mean Care was dropped for Heinz. If Heinz hadn't have been picked, one of the other 3 would probably have been.

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Rugby World Cup - Eligibility, Poaching etc Empty Re: Rugby World Cup - Eligibility, Poaching etc

Post by LordDowlais on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 1:57 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:
Rugby Fan wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:
Rugby Fan wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:Three years residency for players like Teo who has an English mother seems fair...
Not just a mother, Te'o has a passport. You can't add residency conditions to a citizen.

Of course you can, he has a British passport not an English one.
That passport gives him the same employment rights as any other citizen.

Does it give him the employment right to play for Scotland or Wales?

I would imagine it would be who pays him the most. Rolling Eyes

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Rugby World Cup - Eligibility, Poaching etc Empty Re: Rugby World Cup - Eligibility, Poaching etc

Post by LondonTiger on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 2:03 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:
Rugby Fan wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:
Rugby Fan wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:Three years residency for players like Teo who has an English mother seems fair...
Not just a mother, Te'o has a passport. You can't add residency conditions to a citizen.

Of course you can, he has a British passport not an English one.
That passport gives him the same employment rights as any other citizen.

Does it give him the employment right to play for Scotland or Wales?

It gives him employment rights in Wales and Scotland, and for now in Ireland (which he used). However non-selection for national teams have not been shown (yet) to constitute a breach of employment law. Of course in Australia this is being challenged by Folau.

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Rugby World Cup - Eligibility, Poaching etc Empty Re: Rugby World Cup - Eligibility, Poaching etc

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