Pacific nations rejoice at eligibility rule change

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From January 1, World Rugby will permit international players to transfer once from one union to another, subject to demonstrating a close and credible link via birthright.


World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said the law change would be a huge boost to the global game.


“Any player who wishes to transfer will need to have a close and credible link to their new union, namely birth right or parent or grandparent birth right while meeting strong criteria, including a 36-month stand down period.


“We believe that this is the fairest way to implement progressive change that puts players first while also having the potential to support a growing, increasingly competitive international men’s and women’s game,” Beaumont said.


New Zealand Rugby CEO Mark Robinson also welcomed the change and the positive effect it would have on Pacific Island nations.


“New Zealand Rugby has been vocal in our support for changes to the international eligibility regulations and today we join World Rugby in celebrating a huge boost to our game. We particularly excited by the positive effect this will have on our Pacific neighbours,” Robinson said.


Players have been active on social media since the news broke, with former All Black wing Julian Savea replying ‘Never say never’ when asked if he would consider pulling on the blue jersey of Manu Samoa.


Read the full World Rugby announcement HERE.  


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