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Eligibility

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

First topic message reminder :

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 Guest Sun Dec 05, 2021 1:17 pm

It is available to him, isn’t it? If in the future he stops playing for Wales for 3 years he can represent DRoC.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun Dec 05, 2021 1:37 pm

The Oracle wrote:It is available to him, isn’t it? If in the future he stops playing for Wales for 3 years he can represent DRoC.

It's a hypothetical Oracle. If he'd chosen DRoC over Wales he wouldn't then be eligible to play for Wales.

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Post by Guest Sun Dec 05, 2021 2:00 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
The Oracle wrote:It is available to him, isn’t it? If in the future he stops playing for Wales for 3 years he can represent DRoC.

It's a hypothetical Oracle. If he'd chosen DRoC over Wales he wouldn't then be eligible to play for Wales.

Not immediately, no. No player can once they’ve got capped by a country. But if he got capped by DRoC and then didn’t play for 3 years he could be capped by Wales because he’s still classed as a resident of Wales while he studies away from home. There’s a line about studying away from home in the WR eligibility rules on their website. That’s my understanding of it anyway.

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Post by Guest Sun Dec 05, 2021 2:10 pm

Hang on a minute, hang on…….maybe something I’ve got wrong: are we saying that after being stood down for 3 years you cannot then represent a different country based on residency? Is that the bit I’m getting wrong?

So for example, someone is capped for the ABs once at 18. Moves to Ireland for 10 years. Could he then be capped by Ireland on residency and not having played for the ABs for over 3 years? If not then yes I get it now.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun Dec 05, 2021 3:00 pm

Yes that's it. And it's not so much the 5 year one that feels wrong but the 10 year one as that was brought in if you moved away from that country you are still classed as having a close tie. That doesn't exist in this ruling hence the reason I was using the 2 players I know of who are under that vs a accident of birth.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon Dec 06, 2021 4:34 am

The Oracle wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:
The Oracle wrote:Why do you doubt that Tshiunza actually qualified to play for Wales? That’s the bit I’m really interested in.

The uni/education thing is something I like to discuss too as I work in university so I find the discussion about nationality and studying away from home an interesting topic.

I'd never heard of this guy and just googled him out of curiosity......in very simple terms looking at his movement history/lineage......how have Wales managed to cap him??? It seems quite bizarre.

Are you being serious? He moved to Wales at 10. He’s now 19. So 9 years living, schooling and playing in Wales. He’s now gone to university in England but his home address is still in Wales (like when I went to uni). Why do you think he shouldn’t be able to play for wales? 9 year residency. How on earth is that bizarre???? 5 year residency is ok for others but 9 years for this guy is not?!

If you question this then you have to question Faletau (moved to Wales at 6) and the Vunipola brothers too, surely?

Calm your beans....

I may have this wrong, this is what I see...

1. Born in Congo to French parents (qualifies for Congo and France)
2. Moves to Wales aged 10
3. Leaves Wales aged 19 to study in England
4. Plays friendly game for England U20 and signs contract with Exeter
5. Gets capped by Wales

He's eligible to play for Wales on residency for what I gather which surely should have finished when you sign for a club in another country....as in you live there? It's quite an odd case. I'm in no way attacking anything Wales/Welsh, I'm just seeing this case for the first time.

And Underhill.....his parents are English and he was born in the USA because his father was stationed there in the military.

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Post by Blueschief Mon Dec 06, 2021 7:04 am

On the World Rugby site - Regulation 8

19. What is the position of students?

As far as students are concerned, particularly those that are not financially independent, being resident, as a full-time student, in another country, is likely to be considered as a series of temporary absences from the parental home. It is anticipated that in the majority of cases involving students the parental home is likely to continue to constitute the student’s permanent and primary home. Accordingly, attendance at school by a person who has not yet reached the age of majority in such circumstances is unlikely to break a Player’s consecutive period of Residence. However, as in all matters of eligibility, the overriding concern of the Regulations Committee in assessing any such case will be to ensure that there remains a close, credible and established link with the country in which the Player claims to have retained his primary and permanent home. There could be circumstances in which a student living in another country may wish to elect to commence a new period of residency in the country in which they are studying, for example where the Player is attending college/university (having reached the age of majority) in the jurisdiction of another Union and has relocated there on a permanent basis i.e. has only taken short breaks away from that new country as set out in paragraph 16 above. In cases involving students, the relevant Union and Player are advised to request a ruling from the Regulations Committee to ensure compliance in advance of the Player representing the Union. It is not permissible for a Union or educational establishment to offer scholarships or other benefits that restrict a Player’s ability to choose which Union they wish to represent.

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Post by king_carlos Mon Dec 06, 2021 7:06 am

Didn't Tshiunza move to Wales in 2010 not aged 10?

He signed a 4 year academy deal with Chiefs in 2019 aged 17 when he still had a year of school left but had accepted a provisional offer from Exeter Uni. He then finished his schooling at Whitchurch in Cardiff before moving to Exeter in September of 2020 after finishing school.

So even without the eligibility rules allowing for a students permanent home address to be their family home he would have been in Wales for 10 years by the time he moved down to Exeter?

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon Dec 06, 2021 8:29 am

If he's signed a 4 year deal with Exeter, that would suggest he's moved his place of residence...I think that's quite straightforward.

I'm presuming his cap for Wales came before he moved/signed for Exeter.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon Dec 06, 2021 8:39 am

They've used his uni as a bit of a loophole as he's with a pro club and playing for them. I think it's a matter of months for him to have the full 10 years which is why I questioned. It's not something that we would want to look too closely at as Tshiunzanis the perfect example of why that rule should exist. My issue is that its the need for that rule in the first part of qualification makes me question why they didn't use it for this new part.

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Post by king_carlos Mon Dec 06, 2021 10:41 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:If he's signed a 4 year deal with Exeter, that would suggest he's moved his place of residence...I think that's quite straightforward.

I'm presuming his cap for Wales came before he moved/signed for Exeter.
4 year academy deal, he signed it in 2019 when he was 17 as he already had a provisional offer from Exeter University from what I heard from Chiefs fans. If so the uni aspect came first. I believe he trained with the Chiefs academy in the summer prior to his final year at school, returned to Whitchurch for his final year, then moved for uni in 2020.

Players training with multiple pro sides prior to finishing school isn't unusual it's worth noting. Cam Henderson for instance spent a summer with Tigers U18s in 2017 despite being based in Scotland still for school.

Tshiunza was capped this year around 18 months after signing that Chiefs deal whilst still at school.

A 4 year academy contract signed when Tshiunza was 17 would cover his final year of school and a three year undergraduate degree, so suggests continuing his rugby development whilst there to study. When he got the call that he was in the Wales squad for the AIs he was getting ready to play for Exeter Uni that afternoon. He's a full time student who happens to be talented enough to have made the bench for Chiefs whilst they were missing a lot of locks. Personally I don't think being more talented than most players who might move for uni should exempt him from the regulations around students moving for full time study.

All of that only matters at all if he hadn't been in Wales 10 years when he moved to university in 2020. Given his family arrived in Wales in 2010 and he moved to Exeter Uni in 2020 he may well have been there 10 consecutive years anyway.

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Post by lostinwales Mon Dec 06, 2021 10:58 am

It does all suggest that Tshiunza may well have been capped in order to capture him because his eligibility was becoming an increasingly grey area.

Lets just hope he has a long and successful international career now.

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Post by Guest Mon Dec 06, 2021 11:03 am

He played for Wales U18 and Wales U20, so it's not like he wasn't on Wales' radar. He didn't suddenly emerge at Exeter to the surprise of the WRU. They already knew his intentions were for Wales (even if he did run out for England U20 vs London Irish to get some much needed game time!).

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon Dec 06, 2021 11:05 am

The Oracle wrote:He played for Wales U18 and Wales U20, so it's not like he wasn't on Wales' radar.  He didn't suddenly emerge at Exeter to the surprise of the WRU.  They already knew his intentions were for Wales (even if he did run out for England U20 vs London Irish to get some much needed game time!).  

It's not really a matter of if he was Wales radar, it's more a case of him being eligible.

It's not a Wales thing (I know some poster gets defensive), it's an interesting case.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon Dec 06, 2021 11:06 am

lostinwales wrote:It does all suggest that Tshiunza may well have been capped in order to capture him because his eligibility was becoming an increasingly grey area.

Lets just hope he has a long and successful international career now.

I bet Congo RFU are absolutely fuming......

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Post by king_carlos Mon Dec 06, 2021 11:09 am

lostinwales wrote:It does all suggest that Tshiunza may well have been capped in order to capture him because his eligibility was becoming an increasingly grey area.

Lets just hope he has a long and successful international career now.
More likely influenced by the England U20s looking at him in those strange sort of behind closed doors, then info leaked out matches against Premiership A-teams whilst the Championship and age grade stuff was on pause so none of the academy guys were getting game time.

If so he wouldn't be the first player capped to tie him in and he wont be the last either by any stretch. Hopefully he has a long and successful career with Wales as you say but if he doesn't he could end up being an example of why this new rule exists I guess.

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Post by Guest Mon Dec 06, 2021 11:15 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:
The Oracle wrote:He played for Wales U18 and Wales U20, so it's not like he wasn't on Wales' radar.  He didn't suddenly emerge at Exeter to the surprise of the WRU.  They already knew his intentions were for Wales (even if he did run out for England U20 vs London Irish to get some much needed game time!).  

It's not really a matter of if he was Wales radar, it's more a case of him being eligible.

It's not a Wales thing (I know some poster gets defensive), it's an interesting case.

Oh, I know that. I meant that, for me, I don’t think he was capped just to capture him. I think he was capped as a natural progression from U18 to U20 to senior. It was going to happen at some point soon. Why not during the AIs against the weaker opposition?

Definitely an interesting case. I personally feel with the WR uni rules his eligibility years just carry on as his home address is still Cardiff. So he’s not going to lose that eligibility, so there was no onus on the WRU to cap him before he was lost to them. So I therefore feel he was capped to expose him to international rugby and he’ll feature going forward.

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Post by Guest Mon Dec 06, 2021 11:19 am

king_carlos wrote:
lostinwales wrote:It does all suggest that Tshiunza may well have been capped in order to capture him because his eligibility was becoming an increasingly grey area.

Lets just hope he has a long and successful international career now.
More likely influenced by the England U20s looking at him in those strange sort of behind closed doors, then info leaked out matches against Premiership A-teams whilst the Championship and age grade stuff was on pause so none of the academy guys were getting game time.

If so he wouldn't be the first player capped to tie him in and he wont be the last either by any stretch. Hopefully he has a long and successful career with Wales as you say but if he doesn't he could end up being an example of why this new rule exists I guess.

This is a good point and an interesting one because he could turn out for DRoC in future, but also France. Is that because Congo was a french colony? If so it’s a bit odd that rugby players could be eligible for France now that Congo is a republic. I guess his parents have duel citizenship or something.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon Dec 06, 2021 11:47 am

And that's the point for me. If that France thing it true is he really more French than Welsh (hypothetical again)? No, obviously not by the things he's said so WR have looked at this and said accident of birth is better than residency for these rules. It's what happens when you try to create something with one specific intent in mind (the PIs) and ignore what is the right thing to do.

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Post by dummy_half Mon Dec 06, 2021 12:08 pm

Just shows the difficulty of a 'one size fits all' rule. No doubt from me that Tshiunza SHOULD from a moral perspective be eligible to play for the country he has been in for half his lifetime (or for DR Congo, as the country of his birth), but does his moving away and signing for a professional team in another country technically make him ineligible by no longer being resident in that country*? I've previously made the suggestion that any year spent resident in a country prior to the age of 18 should count as 2 years towards an eligibility period (but then I also would prefer the qualification by residency period to be raised to 10 years).

* I know that even as a post graduate student, any student accommodation was counted as a temporary residence and my permanent residence from a legal perspective was my parents house, so if he was just a student in Exeter there's no issue - does though that change with him also being a contracted professional rugby player in Exeter?

As noted previously, sometimes place of birth can be a bit random - I always come back to the example of John McEnroe being German, and the Vunipola brothers are good examples as well, so in many cases parental nationality is a stronger indication of heritage, although Tshiunza may be an exception if his parents were both born in France but of DRC ancestry and with him being born in DRC.

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Post by lostinwales Mon Dec 06, 2021 12:11 pm

The Oracle wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:
The Oracle wrote:He played for Wales U18 and Wales U20, so it's not like he wasn't on Wales' radar.  He didn't suddenly emerge at Exeter to the surprise of the WRU.  They already knew his intentions were for Wales (even if he did run out for England U20 vs London Irish to get some much needed game time!).  

It's not really a matter of if he was Wales radar, it's more a case of him being eligible.

It's not a Wales thing (I know some poster gets defensive), it's an interesting case.

Oh, I know that.  I meant that, for me, I don’t think he was capped just to capture him.  I think he was capped as a natural progression from U18 to U20 to senior.  It was going to happen at some point soon.  Why not during the AIs against the weaker opposition?

Definitely an interesting case.  I personally feel with the WR uni rules his eligibility years just carry on as his home address is still Cardiff.  So he’s not going to lose that eligibility, so there was no onus on the WRU to cap him before he was lost to them. So I therefore feel he was capped to expose him to international rugby and he’ll feature going forward.  

Being realistic it normally takes a few years for locks to mature from U20 to full international so the timing does seem a little unusual. I know Itoje pretty much went straight from one to the other but he's a special case. Tshiunza seems to be very much at the 'potential' stage right now.

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Post by Rugby Fan Mon Dec 06, 2021 12:22 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:...I It's what happens when you try to create something with one specific intent in mind (the PIs) and ignore what is the right thing to do...
That's one reason a panel of peers would be better to judge such situations, than a set of rules. Any rule which permits an outlier case would likely create conditions which others could exploit. On the other hand, it's not hard to imagine situations which a strange set of circumstances might give a particular individual a justifiable claim.

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Post by king_carlos Mon Dec 06, 2021 12:44 pm

lostinwales wrote:
The Oracle wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:
The Oracle wrote:He played for Wales U18 and Wales U20, so it's not like he wasn't on Wales' radar.  He didn't suddenly emerge at Exeter to the surprise of the WRU.  They already knew his intentions were for Wales (even if he did run out for England U20 vs London Irish to get some much needed game time!).  

It's not really a matter of if he was Wales radar, it's more a case of him being eligible.

It's not a Wales thing (I know some poster gets defensive), it's an interesting case.

Oh, I know that.  I meant that, for me, I don’t think he was capped just to capture him.  I think he was capped as a natural progression from U18 to U20 to senior.  It was going to happen at some point soon.  Why not during the AIs against the weaker opposition?

Definitely an interesting case.  I personally feel with the WR uni rules his eligibility years just carry on as his home address is still Cardiff.  So he’s not going to lose that eligibility, so there was no onus on the WRU to cap him before he was lost to them. So I therefore feel he was capped to expose him to international rugby and he’ll feature going forward.  

Being realistic it normally takes a few years for locks to mature from U20 to full international so the timing does seem a little unusual. I know Itoje pretty much went straight from one to the other but he's a special case. Tshiunza seems to be very much at the 'potential' stage right now.
Itoje's rise was actually more gradual than some remember. He captained the U20s at the end of the 2013/14 season, in 2014/15 Sarries largely used him from the bench in the Premiership whilst he captained their Anglo-Welsh Cup side to victory, then in 2015/16 he was a starter for Sarries and debuted for England in the 2016 Six Nations. At 21 when debuting he was actually older than Lawes who debuted at 20 for instance!

With AWJ picking up injuries and Ball moving on Wales aren't blessed with locks at the minute though. Especially big locks.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon Dec 06, 2021 12:54 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:...I It's what happens when you try to create something with one specific intent in mind (the PIs) and ignore what is the right thing to do...
That's one reason a panel of peers would be better to judge such situations, than a set of rules. Any rule which permits an outlier case would likely create conditions which others could exploit. On the other hand, it's not hard to imagine situations which a strange set of circumstances might give a particular individual a justifiable claim.

I agree and like your idea. Just seems a fairer way as for every case you think yup absolutely you have another which seems wrong.

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Post by Guest Mon Dec 06, 2021 2:28 pm

lostinwales wrote:
The Oracle wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:
The Oracle wrote:He played for Wales U18 and Wales U20, so it's not like he wasn't on Wales' radar.  He didn't suddenly emerge at Exeter to the surprise of the WRU.  They already knew his intentions were for Wales (even if he did run out for England U20 vs London Irish to get some much needed game time!).  

It's not really a matter of if he was Wales radar, it's more a case of him being eligible.

It's not a Wales thing (I know some poster gets defensive), it's an interesting case.

Oh, I know that.  I meant that, for me, I don’t think he was capped just to capture him.  I think he was capped as a natural progression from U18 to U20 to senior.  It was going to happen at some point soon.  Why not during the AIs against the weaker opposition?

Definitely an interesting case.  I personally feel with the WR uni rules his eligibility years just carry on as his home address is still Cardiff.  So he’s not going to lose that eligibility, so there was no onus on the WRU to cap him before he was lost to them. So I therefore feel he was capped to expose him to international rugby and he’ll feature going forward.  

Being realistic it normally takes a few years for locks to mature from U20 to full international so the timing does seem a little unusual. I know Itoje pretty much went straight from one to the other but he's a special case. Tshiunza seems to be very much at the 'potential' stage right now.

He actually played in the back row for Wales in this year’s U20 6 Nations. Blindside flanker. But I think he came on as lock replacement vs Fiji in this year’s AIs for his first cap, and that’s really somewhere we need to develop going forward as our lock reserves are really low. With AWJ out of the frame and not going to last much longer, and Jake Ball moving on, it’s Beard and Rowlands as the first choice locks. After them it’s really inexperienced. So who knows - he might be viewed as a back rower going forward (and we could do with a big abrasive 6 rather than playing 2 or 3 open sides) but it’s lock we really need to strengthen.

Sorry, off topic slightly Smile

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Post by Rugby Fan Mon Dec 06, 2021 11:34 pm

The Oracle wrote:Sorry, off topic slightly Smile

Following your lead: does Carwyn Tuipulotu also qualify for Wales through residency, or is he also eligible through another route?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue Dec 07, 2021 8:13 am

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/scarlets-announce-signing-brilliantly-named-14856509

There you go rugby fan.

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Post by Guest Tue Dec 07, 2021 9:00 am

Rugby Fan wrote:
The Oracle wrote:Sorry, off topic slightly Smile

Following your lead: does Carwyn Tuipulotu also qualify for Wales through residency, or is he also eligible through another route?

Born in Wales. Hence the Welsh name I think.

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Post by Brendan Tue Dec 07, 2021 11:33 am

Because less and less players are being produced by the actual PIs they have to include grandparents.  Very few players play in the PIs so their kids are normally born where they are playing. In the next generation how many PI players will have been born in the islands.

With more professional leagues being created in Europe in the next generation this rule will benefit the euro T2 leagues as the PI and SH players going to these leagues are having kids in these countries thus allowing them to play for Russia, Spain etc when their T1 dream ends.

If they don't have the grandparent rule how many kids of the current PI players would be eligible to play for the PIs, currently less than half of the last WC squads of Samoa and Tonga where born in the PIs meaning their kids only qualify via grandparents (unless they marry an island person)

We see more and more Afican and eastern European people moving to 6N countries for work taking up rugby. In a generation those areas could be the big winners of this rule.  We already see players who take up rugby in Ireland going back to represent The lower levels of European Test countries.  You can see this already in the rise of Poland and Lithuania who are getting access to western based players who are a higher standard than previously avaible.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue Dec 07, 2021 12:53 pm

Was it Oracle who asked earlier who would qualify for Wales under this? Walesonline have done their list. They've mentioned a vague Welsh connect for Marchant before but I've never seen it confirmed:

'Luke Hamilton
It was more than three years ago, in June 2018, that Hamilton won the last of his three caps for Scotland, so he becomes immediately eligible for Wales once more from January.

The Pembrokeshire product, who had spells on the books of both the Scarlets and Cardiff Blues, shared in Wales U20s’ famous victory over New Zealand at the 2012 Junior World Championship in South Africa.

But after impressing with Agen and Leicester, he was called up for the land of his father and made his Scotland debut against New Zealand in November 2017.

The 29-year-old back rower’s wandering career has taken in stints with Edinburgh, the Red Hurricanes in Japan, Bristol and now Oyonnax.

Although he is playing out in France, he is not barred by the WRU's 60-cap rule as he is uncapped at Test level by Wales.

Joe Heyes
An intriguing back story here.

The 22-year-old Leicester prop was born in Nottingham and has been capped by England at U18s, U20s and now senior level, having made his Test debut against the USA in July.

But he is the son of Swansea-born professional football goalkeeper Darren Heyes and the grandson of ex-Swansea City goalkeeper George Heyes.

Should he not get capped again, he would in theory become eligible for Wales in July 2024 when he will still only be 25.

The 6ft 3ins, 19st 3lbs tight-head has been a regular member of the table-topping Tigers’ match-day 23 this season.

Stephen Varney
No doubting this young man’s Welsh roots.

He was born in Pembrokeshire, hails from the hamlet of Rhoshill, a few miles south of Cardigan, attended Ysgol y Preseli in Crymych, and is the son of former Neath and Aberavon flanker Adrian Varney.

But the Gloucester scrum-half plays Test rugby for Italy, who he qualifies for through his mother Valeria, winning his eighth cap against New Zealand in November.

He is still only 20, so there is plenty of time ahead in his rugby journey.

Rhys Ruddock
While born in Dublin and capped 27 times by Ireland, the Leinster back rower has obvious Welsh roots being the son of Mike Ruddock.

He actually represented Wales at U18s level before declaring his Irish allegiance.

His last cap came in February of this year, so he wouldn’t be eligible until early 2024, by when he will be 33.

Shannon Frizell
His elder brother, Tyson, actually represented Wales in rugby league around a decade ago, with their father Andrew hailing from Swansea.

Highlanders flanker Shannon, 27, has won 16 caps for the All Blacks, the last of those coming against Italy in November.

Lewis Ludlow
Lewis Ludlow captained England in the summer
Lewis Ludlow captained England in the summer
With his grandfather Tony having been born in Tredegar, Ludlow came on the WRU radar from a young age and played for Welsh Exiles at U18s.

But the hard-hitting Gloucester flanker resisted attempts to persuade him to move to Wales and in July of this year he became the first player in 37 years to captain England on debut. The Bedford-born back rower is now 27.

Javan Sebastian
A former Wales age-grade international, the Scarlets tight-head prop made his Scotland debut as a replacement against Japan in November.

The Scottish Rugby Union were aware he was eligible through his father, Edwin, who hails from Edinburgh, while head coach Gregor Townsend knew him from a year-long spell he had with Glasgow.

It was a big week for the 27-year-old front row forward from Carmarthen, as his partner, Kaylee, gave birth to their son, Marcellus, shortly before the Japan game.

Joe Marchant
The Harlequins centre was reportedly on Warren Gatland’s wish-list back in 2018, based on him having a Welsh family background.

But nothing came of that and the Hampshire-born three-quarter actually made his Test debut against Wales in 2019, winning the first of his seven England caps, with his last outing having seen him start on the wing in the victory over South Africa a couple of weeks ago.He is now 25.'

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Post by Guest Tue Dec 07, 2021 1:18 pm

Cheers 7.5. An interesting list! Not heard of a couple of them. Very much doubt any of these will ever be called up by Wales, but interesting to hear their back stories.

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Post by lostinwales Tue Dec 07, 2021 2:14 pm

And Marchant's U20 centre partner was Johnny Williams - but you can keep your hands off.

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Post by dummy_half Tue Dec 07, 2021 3:58 pm

I'm pretty sure you'd find plenty other players around the top English clubs with at least one grandparent giving them Welsh, Scottish or Irish heritage (and similar if you looked at Welsh and Scottish regions). Shows the difficulty that the eligibility rules have in dealing with the unique situation of Britain, with one (legal) nationality covering 3.5 national sides (since Ireland includes Northern Ireland), and with absolutely no restriction on movement between the home nations.

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Post by geoff999rugby Mon Mar 21, 2022 3:25 pm

Prior to the World Cup Jordi Murphy will be eligible to play for Spain.
With their qualification why wouldn't he, especially as they are in the Ireland group

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Post by Unclear Mon Mar 21, 2022 4:12 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:Prior to the World Cup Jordi Murphy will be eligible to play for Spain.
With their qualification why wouldn't he, especially as they are in the Ireland group

Presumably that makes him NIQ, so could this impact squad decisions at Ulster? Assuming he is fit, he would still be well placed within the back-rowers, but the emergence of Marcus Rea and continuing excellence of Timoney could presumably cause a re-think at his next contract renewal especially if there is further emerging talent from the Academy. Or is the assumption that Murphy is close to calling time anyway?

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Post by geoff999rugby Mon Mar 21, 2022 5:19 pm

His contract runs out in 2023.
He’ll be 32 that summer.
Carter won’t be re signed.
If he and Ulster agree I reckon he will be allowed to stay as a NIQ player.
For his services to Irish rugby he deserves that.
If he is not allowed to stay Ulster should kick up a stink.

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Post by Brendan Tue Mar 22, 2022 1:48 pm

I would love for him to do it but at the same time a player who got them there would get less game time at the WC.

I think he is old enough that if the IRFU give their blessing he will be treated the same at if he didn't go.  As people have said maybe it will be hard for him to get a new contract at Ulster based on talent depth and would be a good shop window to pick up a contact in France or England for one last payday.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri May 27, 2022 8:46 am

Mods, does this count as bumping, seems silly to start another thread.

Three big name playsers switch to Tonga following the 3 year fallow period from Aus and NZ. Fekitoa, Piutau and the other one join up for the Pacific Nations Cup and then you'd think the formality of the WC play off.

https://www.rugbypass.com/news/israel-folau-charles-piutau-and-malakai-fekitoa-headline-tonga-squad/

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Post by Geordie Fri May 27, 2022 8:58 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Mods, does this count as bumping, seems silly to start another thread.

Three big name playsers switch to Tonga following the 3 year fallow period from Aus and NZ. Fekitoa, Piutau and the other one join up for the Pacific Nations Cup and then you'd think the formality of the WC play off.

https://www.rugbypass.com/news/israel-folau-charles-piutau-and-malakai-fekitoa-headline-tonga-squad/

Folau...

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Post by BamBam Fri May 27, 2022 11:05 am

Hopefully Tonga will be the slipperiest of banana skins for whoever is in their World Cup group

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Post by MichaelT Fri May 27, 2022 12:43 pm

I think its likely to be the South Africa, Ireland, Scotland group.

Their first match will be against Ireland on the second weekend if I am right.

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Post by doctor_grey Fri May 27, 2022 2:25 pm

This will certainly make things more interesting.

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Post by majesticimperialman Fri May 27, 2022 2:35 pm

I still find it hard to understand how some one can play for a country like NZ, AUS, SA, Sing that country's national anthem with pride(having tears in your )eyes when you sing it. then when that country stops selecting you, you say i will go and play for the country of my birth/parents and then sing that country's national anthem the same way you did before.

Just baffles me.

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Post by king_carlos Fri May 27, 2022 2:45 pm

Fekitoa
Piutau
Folau
Coleman
Timani
Moala
(Sekope Kepu - will be eligible in the autumn but not commented)

It's a serious list of players either already eligible or due to be.

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Post by king_carlos Fri May 27, 2022 2:51 pm

majesticimperialman wrote:I still find it hard to understand how some one can play for a country like NZ, AUS, SA, Sing that country's national anthem with pride(having tears in your )eyes when you sing it. then when that country stops selecting you, you say i will go and play for the country of my birth/parents and then sing that country's national anthem the same way you did before.

Just baffles me.

Dual nationality. It's the nature of the modern world that many people feel allegiance and ties to more than one nation.

I was born in England, grew up all over the place due to father being in the forces, since leaving school I've lived in Scotland my entire adult life. My mother is also Scottish and I have family ties here. My parents now live in Scotland.

I have deep ties to both England and Scotland, if I'd ever been talented enough to play sport internationally, let alone have a choice of suitors, I would have been genuinely torn in which nation to choose.

Also worth noting that players representing more than one nation isn't actually new in international sport. It's been going on as long as international sport has. I'd actually argue it's more justified now due to ease of travel, hence many people having roots in multiple nations, than it ever was before.

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Post by geoff999rugby Fri May 27, 2022 3:13 pm

Exactly.

A good friend of mine

- Irish parents
- Lived his first 30 years in London
- Married and settled in Australia

Qualifies as a citizen for all three and has an affection for all three


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Post by Old Man Fri May 27, 2022 7:44 pm

majesticimperialman wrote:I still find it hard to understand how some one can play for a country like NZ, AUS, SA, Sing that country's national anthem with pride(having tears in your )eyes when you sing it. then when that country stops selecting you, you say i will go and play for the country of my birth/parents and then sing that country's national anthem the same way you did before.

Just baffles me.

not much different than someone moving from SAm OZ or NZ and then qualify for residency somewhere in Europe to represent their adopted nation. When opportunity knocks, people take it.

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Post by BigGee Fri May 27, 2022 7:50 pm

Old Man wrote:
majesticimperialman wrote:I still find it hard to understand how some one can play for a country like NZ, AUS, SA, Sing that country's national anthem with pride(having tears in your )eyes when you sing it. then when that country stops selecting you, you say i will go and play for the country of my birth/parents and then sing that country's national anthem the same way you did before.

Just baffles me.

not much different than someone moving from SAm OZ or NZ and then qualify for residency somewhere in Europe to represent their adopted nation. When opportunity knocks, people take it.

And why shouldn't they?

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri May 27, 2022 7:55 pm

king_carlos wrote:Fekitoa
Piutau
Folau
Coleman
Timani
Moala
(Sekope Kepu - will be eligible in the autumn but not commented)

It's a serious list of players either already eligible or due to be.

Shame they don't have a quality 10 that can change over.

9. Takalua
10.
11. Vieanu
12. Moala
13. Fekitoa
14. Folau
15. Piatau

So close to an awesome backline. Perhaps they will try Piatau at 10, move Folau to 15 and then bring in another of the quality wings.

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Post by Guest Fri May 27, 2022 8:35 pm

Old Man wrote:
majesticimperialman wrote:I still find it hard to understand how some one can play for a country like NZ, AUS, SA, Sing that country's national anthem with pride(having tears in your )eyes when you sing it. then when that country stops selecting you, you say i will go and play for the country of my birth/parents and then sing that country's national anthem the same way you did before.

Just baffles me.

not much different than someone moving from SAm OZ or NZ and then qualify for residency somewhere in Europe to represent their adopted nation. When opportunity knocks, people take it.

Let’s not forget that SA rugby has reaped the benefits of European settlers for decades! Just more recently the movement has been in the other direction.

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