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Eligibility

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 24 Nov 2021, 9:55 am

Sorry is this has been posted already but I can't see it. The vote on this comes today. Lots of noise on twitter (or at least the accounts I follow) on players going back to their real countries after chasing the money and it being really positive (Pacific Island commentators mainly, and now the inevitable SAs saying World Rugby (England) are racist. I know there are plenty of people on here who don't like residency qualification in particular, any thoughts on this and anyone who you feel should be capped again just in case (Mercer etc).



BBC: 'International players will be able to switch nationality if revolutionary changes to eligibility rules are voted through by World Rugby later this month.

Under the new proposals, players will be able to represent the country of their or their ancestors' birth after a three-year stand-down period.

The likes of All Blacks superstar Charles Piutau could represent Tonga as soon as next year in what would be a major boost to Pacific Island nations before the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

The World Rugby council will discuss the proposals at the next meeting on 24 November, with a 75% majority, or 39 of 52 votes, required for the ruling to pass.

What are the current rules?
Under the current rules, a player is "captured" once they have won a senior cap - a nation's 2nd XV and sevens team can also capture players - and are thereafter tied to that country and unable to play for another nation.

Rugby sevens' inclusion in the Olympic Games from 2016 has provided an eligibility loophole, with former All Blacks centre Malakai Fekitoa an example of a player who has successfully switched nationality after representing Tonga in Olympic qualifying events.

Fekitoa, who won 24 New Zealand caps between 2014 and 2017 and played against the British and Irish Lions, became eligible for the country of his birth earlier this year. He would be playing for Tonga against England on Saturday were it not for injury.

However, securing release from club employers has proved difficult for other players, while the prospect of playing sevens is weighted towards backs as opposed to tight-five forwards - the locks, hooker and props who are normally the biggest and heaviest players on the team.

What is being proposed?
Under the new plans, a player would be eligible for a nationality switch once they have not played international rugby for three years.

If they then have a "close and credible link" to another country - through birth or the birthplace of parents or grandparents - then they would be able to change nationality. Players would only be able to switch once in their careers.

In theory, it means players like Mako and Billy Vunipola would be eligible to play for Tonga, through their father, if they aren't capped by England between now and 2024, although Billy Vunipola last year ruled this prospect out.

Nathan Hughes
Nathan Hughes, right, made his second England appearance against Fiji, the land of his birth, in 2016
The Fijian-born Bristol number eight Nathan Hughes, who won the last of his 22 England caps in 2019, would then be able to switch to his home country in 2022.

While the changes are likely to be supported by the Pacific Island countries, especially given the high proportion of players with Pacific Island ancestry representing other nations, there are concerns about the unintended consequence of allowing players to switch, as well as fears it could discriminate against other Tier Two countries who base their systems on home-grown players.

World Rugby has already extended the residency qualification period from three years to five years, with this ruling set to take effect from 31 December 2021.'

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Post by The Oracle Wed 24 Nov 2021, 10:02 am

I haven't really got an issue with it as proposed above. However, at the heart of this is probably the push to help the smaller unions such as the Pacific Island nations but in reality it is going to benefit the 'richer' Tri and 6 Nations sides too (as it is a blanket approach), so everyone will be bellyaching about that in a few years.
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Post by dummy_half Wed 24 Nov 2021, 10:31 am

I have no issue with the proposed change, other than that it should only apply to players moving from Tier 1 to Tier 2 nations. I don't like the idea of someone transferring from England to Wales or Scotland based on the birthplace of one parent.

Given the number of players of Pacific Island heritage playing for the top international teams (and with greater or lesser degrees of qualification), it seems a change that is necessary.

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Post by lostinwales Wed 24 Nov 2021, 11:10 am

The overall population numbers for PI is very low so this should help.

One consequence may be that, for instance, PI players in NZ may end up holding out for an AB cap knowing they can switch instead of committing themselves to playing for their ancestral home at an earlier stage - but it probably won't be common.

I don't have a problem with the rules having a wider remit, although I can see it changing the arguments from a yes/no discussion on eligibility to 'how much'.

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Post by Cumbrian Wed 24 Nov 2021, 11:13 am

I'm a little conflicted/ not sure how to feel about it about it.

On the one hand if a player only got a couple of caps years ago and was quickly left out in the cold, I don't really have an opinion on it, nationality is a complicated thing and his heart may lie with the land of his antecedent. However, to me it is different if you have won dozens of caps for one nation. In that situation it seems like you have made your choice and you should stick with. There are so many questions about where you draw the line though. It is a complex situation.

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Post by thebandwagonsociety Wed 24 Nov 2021, 11:35 am

Having a line like "players going back to their real countries after chasing the money" kind of sets the stage for the argument.
Did Isa Nacewa chase the money? This rule would have been applicable for him.
Do all PI players go to Oz and NZ when they are young and stay playing till they are 27, if they aren't regular internationals by that stage, they go back to PI nation at 30? Is that good, is that bad, I don't know but if even if it is turkey's voting for Christmas, it's their vote and their choice lets have it.
On the splitting tier 1 and tier 2, I don't agree. If there are rules it should be the same rules for everybody.

For club contracts, the obvious thing would be that a club builds a squad to cover their season, that includes the marquee players but also squad depth and role players to step up during international windows when club fixtures still happen or in anticipation of the some internationals picking up higher number of injuries. So if a club is paying a player X for a season with an intention that the key 5-6 fixtures that the player is needed for is during international windows. Current contracts will be debated, they will run their course but when it comes to the next contract, the clubs will decide the composition of the squad to have the depth in squad to cover all fixtures. It's probably too complex to figure out hypothetically.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 24 Nov 2021, 11:48 am

Just in case you thought it was just my thought! Threw it in there as it bugged me tbh https://twitter.com/RNZPacific/status/1462949364343603203?t=ytXW47Fp-sFS2jzv3IeQIw&s=19

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Post by Irish Londoner Wed 24 Nov 2021, 1:53 pm

Cumbrian wrote:I'm a little conflicted/ not sure how to feel about it about it.  

On the one hand if a player only got a couple of caps years ago and was quickly left out in the cold, I don't really have an opinion on it, nationality is a complicated thing and his heart may lie with the land of his antecedent.  However, to me it is different if you have won dozens of caps for one nation.   In that situation it seems like you have made your choice and you should stick with.  There are so many questions about where you draw the line though.  It is a complex situation.


Personally it's a very simple line to draw. Once you've played for a country then that's your decision made. This isn't about playing rugby it's about representing your nation. If you feel that your nation is Tonga then you make yourself available for Tonga, you don't play 30 games for a Tier One team and then say "sorry lads I've never really been one of you".

If someone is prepared to move to a country, get the residential qualification (I would also make taking citizenship of the new country mandatory as well) with the hope of getting international caps for their new country then fair play to them, but to get one nation and usually a professional club as well, to invest time, money and squad spaces into someone who a few years later decides that they're not really a Kiwi, English, Aussie, Irish, etc. and want a second career at T2 then it's wrong.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 24 Nov 2021, 2:49 pm

Got passed by WR, so Mercer can now play for Scotland.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 24 Nov 2021, 3:44 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:
Cumbrian wrote:I'm a little conflicted/ not sure how to feel about it about it.  

On the one hand if a player only got a couple of caps years ago and was quickly left out in the cold, I don't really have an opinion on it, nationality is a complicated thing and his heart may lie with the land of his antecedent.  However, to me it is different if you have won dozens of caps for one nation.   In that situation it seems like you have made your choice and you should stick with.  There are so many questions about where you draw the line though.  It is a complex situation.


Personally it's a very simple line to draw. Once you've played for a country then that's your decision made. This isn't about playing rugby it's about representing your nation. If you feel that your nation is Tonga then you make yourself available for Tonga, you don't play 30 games for a Tier One team and then say "sorry lads I've never really been one of you".

If someone is prepared to move to a country, get the residential qualification (I would also make taking citizenship of the new country mandatory as well) with the hope of getting international caps for their new country then fair play to them, but to get one nation and usually a professional club as well, to invest time, money and squad spaces into someone who a few years later decides that they're not really a Kiwi, English, Aussie, Irish, etc. and want a second career at T2 then it's wrong.

Depends if you feel like you have one nationality or two. I've got friends who support different nations in different sports because of influence by their parents e.g. always watched football with dad who's English so supports England there but mum is Scottish so come 6N time supports Scotland. Not an issue for me personally but I can understand how it's possible someone might have divided loyalties.

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Post by propdavid_london Wed 24 Nov 2021, 3:54 pm

Correct me if I am wrong, but I think one of the biggest things that has been mentioned is the locking in of Nationality at U18s level.
As I said, I might have mis read this but this now standardises the country tying at U18s rather than the previously designated 2nd team per union.

I like the continuity, but it will force youngsters to make a very big decision a lot earlier in their careers about where they want to commit any future international loyalty. Apart from dual nationality players if they don't make it in their first choice!

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Post by Soul Requiem Wed 24 Nov 2021, 3:54 pm

I'd put a cap limit on it too and quite a low one at that; if you've represented a nation a few times it could be argued that you were capped to stop others selecting you. In the case of Nathan Hughes or Fekitoa they made their choices and shouldn't be afforded an opportunity to backtrack on that.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 24 Nov 2021, 4:06 pm

propdavid_london wrote:Correct me if I am wrong, but I think one of the biggest things that has been mentioned is the locking in of Nationality at U18s level.  
As I said, I might have mis read this but this now standardises the country tying at U18s rather than the previously designated 2nd team per union.  

I like the continuity, but it will force youngsters to make a very big decision a lot earlier in their careers about where they want to commit any future international loyalty.  Apart from dual nationality players if they don't make it in their first choice!

Hadn't heard that. But there are players who don't qualify for the country who can play at that level isn't there? More chance you're merely playing for the set up which is closer as your guardians etc may not be able to get you from say Southampton to Murrayfield?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 24 Nov 2021, 4:07 pm

Possibility that this backfires too and a few players who would have normally gone for the Tonga choice for example now take the chance as there's the backup option.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 24 Nov 2021, 4:12 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:I'd put a cap limit on it too and quite a low one at that; if you've represented a nation a few times it could be argued that you were capped to stop others selecting you. In the case of Nathan Hughes or Fekitoa they made their choices and shouldn't be afforded an opportunity to backtrack on that.

Fekitoa qualified on residency to play for NZ and I think Hughes was residency as well. I suspect if it had been a five year as opposed to three year residency then Hughes wouldn't have played for England, Fekitoa played for the ABs for three years after his residency qualification.

I think the five year residency will clean up a lot of those who are considering international rugby for financial reasons or are young and being swayed by agents etc. Should mean a lot less country swapping in the future though there isn't a great deal now. I'd like to see the three years extended to five years of not featuring so you effectively have to complete a residency period before being eligible for another nation.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 24 Nov 2021, 4:39 pm

So Israel Folau playing for Tonga soon?

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 24 Nov 2021, 4:40 pm

Ps I agree with Cumbrian....

If ita one or two caps for a tier 1 side then dropped in the wilderness fine.

But if its 20 + caps then they can switch...I'm not overly impressed...

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Post by clivemcl Wed 24 Nov 2021, 5:51 pm

I hope this doesn't just encourage lower tier national teams to play international has-beens in their 30s who are only eligible because their international days for the first country are long done.

It's strange - I'm struggling to think how many people this would apply to?

Jordi Murphy could play for Spain in a year or two? Headscratch

I guess more of a Southern Hemisphere problem most likely.

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Post by bsando Wed 24 Nov 2021, 6:28 pm

One example is recent Glasgow signing Josh McKay. Clearly has Scottish heritage but not eligible to walk straight into a Scotland camp due to that heritage being one generation too far. With this ruling he could feasibly do the three year stand down and then play for Scotland two years earlier if he so desired.

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Post by clivemcl Wed 24 Nov 2021, 6:35 pm

Will countries arrange special ‘project’ type deals I wonder where part of the contract would be that they decline international caps from their original country for 3 years.

Surely wouldn’t be too many willing to give up national caps to get a new country in 3 years so likely only applicable to a player whose not top class and is hoping to qualify for a new country of a significantly lower standard. No?

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Post by The Oracle Wed 24 Nov 2021, 6:39 pm

bsando wrote:One example is recent Glasgow signing Josh McKay. Clearly has Scottish heritage but not eligible to walk straight into a Scotland camp due to that heritage being one generation too far. With this ruling he could feasibly do the three year stand down and then play for Scotland two years earlier if he so desired.  

Not sure I’ve understood that one, Bsando. Has McKay been capped by someone? Doesn’t seem so from Wiki. So I’m not sure he can do a 3 year stand down. I think he’s a straight residency case. Could be wrong though.
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Post by Brendan Wed 24 Nov 2021, 6:59 pm

Issue I have with these conversations is it is always sold as these poor PI players not being allowed to play for the PI team.  Charles was a New Zealander born and raised, Represent his home nation, but now he is a Tongan finally able to represent his home country (where he never lived).

People don't seem to complain about Reece playing for the ABs instead of Fiji (Which he would have if his move to Connacht had happened).  No doubt in a few years he will be Fijian again.

Until we tackle the problem of rampant corruption in the PI unions players aren't going to pick them except for WCs. Why would you pick a country that costs you more to play for then not playing.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Wed 24 Nov 2021, 8:38 pm

If it was going to pass, I would have been happy with a match to residency (5 years) or at least a RWC cycle (4 years and a month). Three years is too short.

Part of this is driven by the PI's with guys like Naiyaravoro (2 substitute appearances for Oz, none since he was 24) and Rokodoguni (got 4 caps for England though probably too old now) deserving a second go of it. I have less sympathy for Luatua, Fekitoa and Piutau who had proper international careers (20 odd caps) and left after getting the All Blacks seal of approval for big money deals. Hughes would be another one (not picking on Bristol players intentionally). A 5 or 10 cap limit would probably be fair.

At least for us in Scotland, we are desperate for a no.8 with no one really owning that position since peak Beattie, if then. Zach Mercer could be a T1 to T1 example, recklessly picking England after being dumped by the SRU (tongue in cheek for those that can't tell).

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Wed 24 Nov 2021, 10:25 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:
Cumbrian wrote:I'm a little conflicted/ not sure how to feel about it about it.  

On the one hand if a player only got a couple of caps years ago and was quickly left out in the cold, I don't really have an opinion on it, nationality is a complicated thing and his heart may lie with the land of his antecedent.  However, to me it is different if you have won dozens of caps for one nation.   In that situation it seems like you have made your choice and you should stick with.  There are so many questions about where you draw the line though.  It is a complex situation.


Personally it's a very simple line to draw. Once you've played for a country then that's your decision made. This isn't about playing rugby it's about representing your nation. If you feel that your nation is Tonga then you make yourself available for Tonga, you don't play 30 games for a Tier One team and then say "sorry lads I've never really been one of you".

If someone is prepared to move to a country, get the residential qualification (I would also make taking citizenship of the new country mandatory as well) with the hope of getting international caps for their new country then fair play to them, but to get one nation and usually a professional club as well, to invest time, money and squad spaces into someone who a few years later decides that they're not really a Kiwi, English, Aussie, Irish, etc. and want a second career at T2 then it's wrong.
But if a PI player in super rugby, for instance chooses to represt their nation then they are putting their entire rugby career in jeopardy due to the lack of spaces afforded to foeirgn players there. They may not have their contract renewed of they are ineligible for NZ or AUS.

Its easy sitting here and saying you made your choice live with it, but there are so few spaces available at top clubs for foreign players and its only decreasing. It's an incredibly tough choice for any player to chose to play for his t2 nation.


Last edited by LeinsterFan4life on Thu 25 Nov 2021, 1:38 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Rugby Fan Wed 24 Nov 2021, 11:10 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:...If someone is prepared to move to a country, get the residential qualification (I would also make taking citizenship of the new country mandatory as well)...
That's not going to fly, not least because of the wildly different standards countries have for aquiring citizenship. Quade Cooper had his application for Australian citizenship turned down twice before his winning penalty against South Africa prompted a rethink. A number of countries don't allow dual citizenship, so you have to renounce any other citizenships. That's just not practical for many but it's a bureaucratic matter, not one of identity or loyalty.

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Post by tigertattie Wed 24 Nov 2021, 11:12 pm

I’m not fussed by this new rule but I think Dan Leo, who I have a lot of time for, is going to be bitterly disappointed with this in hindsight

A player that hasn’t been picked to play for NZ or Oz for example for over three years is hardly going to be the marquee player that a PI te needs. If anything this could stop a young PI player from getting their shot while a player who has gone past their peak take to the field.

I also agree that this rule could mean that players could jump at a NZ cap which would tie them for three years where previously they’d have to weigh up of they want to commit to being an All black or stick with their “home nation”

We’ll see how it goes
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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 25 Nov 2021, 4:31 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Got passed by WR, so Mercer can now play for Scotland.

Is that correct 7.5? I thought Mercer initially played for Scotland due to residency (which has obviously passed) as he father worked for Glasgow as defence coach. I thought his parents were NZ/English?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 25 Nov 2021, 7:07 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Got passed by WR, so Mercer can now play for Scotland.

Is that correct 7.5? I thought Mercer initially played for Scotland due to residency (which has obviously passed) as he father worked for Glasgow as defence coach. I thought his parents were NZ/English?

I thought it was initially but read the rules back and don't think so anymore. It says anyone with a strong tie to the country but by birth. I took it at first to just say strong tie meaning the 10 years growing up there. They just mean up to grandparents so ignore that qualification route even though they've recently added it as they realised their mistake.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 25 Nov 2021, 8:26 am

I've been trying to think of a high profile case this may affect.....Nathan Hughes maybe going back to Fiji perhaps next year?? Mercer would have been a good one.

I wonder if there's any going the other way, coming to us? I wonder if Furlong has an English Granny....

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 25 Nov 2021, 8:32 am

There are obviously a fair few English born players elsewhere, but none that we would want honestly and most have obviously been capped in the last 3 years so would have a wait.

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Post by The Oracle Thu 25 Nov 2021, 9:13 am

Tom Shanklin: coming to an England training ground near you soon!
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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 25 Nov 2021, 9:16 am

Parisse to Argentina? Laugh

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 25 Nov 2021, 9:20 am

Nathan Hughes for fiji
Denny Solomona for Samoa
kvesic could play for Germany
Hepburn could try to play for Aus
Mercer could try to play for NZ
Armand to Zimbabwe

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 25 Nov 2021, 9:28 am

So we're not losing much then basically.

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Post by The Oracle Thu 25 Nov 2021, 9:31 am

There's a Welsh lad who has started playing scrum half for Italy and is pretty good. Stephen Varney (Gloucester). Proper Welsh he is - speaks the lingo and everything! Wonder if we might try to lure him back. Although you're essentially asking someone to give up international rugby for 3 years when they're just breaking through. And also swapping training in lovely Italy for training in Wales Shocked So probably unlikely.
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Post by BigGee Thu 25 Nov 2021, 9:33 am

The Oracle wrote:
bsando wrote:One example is recent Glasgow signing Josh McKay. Clearly has Scottish heritage but not eligible to walk straight into a Scotland camp due to that heritage being one generation too far. With this ruling he could feasibly do the three year stand down and then play for Scotland two years earlier if he so desired.  

Not sure I’ve understood that one, Bsando.  Has McKay been capped by someone?  Doesn’t seem so from Wiki.  So I’m not sure he can do a 3 year stand down.  I think he’s a straight residency case.  Could be wrong though.

Yes he has said himself that he does not qualify through heritage and he has not been capped. He would have to wait the 5 years by which time he will be 29, so probably not happening for him, even if he does spend 5 years in Scotland.


Jack Dempsey on the other hand, recently signed for Glasgow was does have Scottish qualification and was last capped by Oz over 2 years ago. I believe he could be eligible next autumn.


Zac Mercer only every qualified for Scotland through residence, having spent a good proportion of his schooling there when his dad was coaching in Scotland. My reading of the new rules is that it would not include him, but I could be wrong on that.

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Post by BigGee Thu 25 Nov 2021, 9:38 am

The three year break is actually pretty massive in rugby terms as well. It is going to push a lot of players past their best and towards the end of their careers, assuming that their international careers with their first country ends in their mid twenties. Three years is a long time in professional rugby these days.

International players don't get chosen for sentimental reasons and particularly with the PI nations, there is a danger that some old stagers may take the place of promising youngsters. That may be a difficult thing to balance.


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Post by dummy_half Thu 25 Nov 2021, 9:59 am

BigGee wrote:The three year break is actually pretty massive in rugby terms as well. It is going to push a lot of players past their best and towards the end of their careers, assuming that their international careers with their first country ends in their mid twenties. Three years is a long time in professional rugby these days.

International players don't get chosen for sentimental reasons and particularly with the PI nations, there is a danger that some old stagers may take the place of promising youngsters. That may be a difficult thing to balance.


Most good players tend to get their first caps between about 20 and 24, so if we're talking about PI heritage players that are tried and discarded fairly quickly by the likes of NZ, Aus or England, they would be getting a second chance in their mid to late 20s, which gives them a few years (likely at least 1 RWC) representing their ancestral nation.

Obviously a different issue if you are talking about the Vunipolas for example going back to represent the country of their birth (and I know that's Australia for Billy and NZ for Mako Wink ), but Mako is almost 31 and Billy 29 and both with a lot of miles on the clock, so they would be very much a short term option if they were to choose to represent another country (not that I am convinced we've seen the last of Billy at least in an England shirt).

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 25 Nov 2021, 11:09 am

https://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/nemani-nadolo-fiji-leicester-tigers-6214818

Nadolos thoughts....

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Post by Old Man Thu 25 Nov 2021, 11:30 am

a player can still make a mark even if he is late 20's.

Mapimpi only started his international career at age 28, and have scored 20 tries in 25 tests.

Even if he only plays to the next RWC he is likely to collect over 40 international caps and get close to 30 tries.

That would put him in the top five try scorers for SA.

Not a bad record to have considering his late entry to international rugby.

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Post by Old Man Thu 25 Nov 2021, 11:38 am

I haven't read up on the change in eligibility, is this for any player, or only applicable for tier two nations?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 25 Nov 2021, 11:41 am

Anyone Old Man.

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Post by Old Man Thu 25 Nov 2021, 12:01 pm

Thanks.

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Post by BigGee Thu 25 Nov 2021, 12:29 pm

Old Man wrote:a player can still make a mark even if he is late 20's.

Mapimpi only started his international career at age 28, and have scored 20 tries in 25 tests.

Even if he only plays to the next RWC he is likely to collect over 40 international caps and get close to 30 tries.

That would put him in the top five try scorers for SA.

Not a bad record to have considering his late entry to international rugby.


Maybe a bit different for an older player like Mapimpi, who came late but had a lot to prove and grabbed his opportunity with both hands.

There are often other reasons why older players have dropped out of international recognition in the first place, injury, loss of form etc and maybe they don't then possess the motivation and commitment to get themselves re-established.

Moving back to a country with whom they have an established emotional connection may help to re-fire them up again but that remains to be seen.

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Post by Rugby Fan Thu 25 Nov 2021, 2:21 pm

A real outside bet would be Alex Corbisiero recovering from testicular cancer, and deciding to see if his knees and body could give him a shot at some games with USA. He's younger than Cian Healy and Dan Cole.


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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 25 Nov 2021, 2:39 pm

Ha, his knees are so shot he said he couldn't even ref a game, though he did say he'd be interested in a specialist scrum ref position (wish wr would consider that tbf). More chance Warburton rolling out for England!

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Thu 25 Nov 2021, 3:01 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:https://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/nemani-nadolo-fiji-leicester-tigers-6214818

Nadolos thoughts....
This is a guy who retired weeks before the last World Cup to only then come out of retirement straight after. Perhaps Fiji could have used this rule last time out on order to fill the gap at wing he left in 2019.

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Post by Rugby Fan Thu 25 Nov 2021, 3:08 pm

Netherlands might try and get Tim Visser out of retirement....

Didn't realize Alex Lozowski qualifies for Italy through his grandmother. O'Shea did put the question to him, and he went with England. If Kieran Crowley asked now, then it might be tempting for a 28 year old. Especially so, as team mate Nick Tompkins already has 14 caps through declaring for Wales last year, and Saracens has a bunch of England players who may never play another Test.

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Post by geoff999rugby Thu 25 Nov 2021, 3:25 pm

So Kieran Brookes and Freddie Burns will be in the Irish squad now.

Another nail in the coffin of playing for your country based on personal conviction

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 25 Nov 2021, 3:46 pm

You must have a better tight head. And Billy is better.

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