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Dual international caps back on the table?


Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :In the news on 19 May 2010 at 19:42
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Rugby’s contentious rule that forbids players representing more than one country is back on the table.

Knocked back by the International Rugby Board last December, the issue has been reopened for discussion after being aired again at the IRB’s latest meeting in Dublin.

Duncan Johnstone writes for the Sydney Morning Herald that it is seen as a potential boost to the competitiveness of many second tier nations, most notably the Pacific islands who have many leading players lured away by the All Blacks and Wallabies.

“We have got an opportunity for the regulation that allows players to play for a second country to be reconsidered,” NZRU chief executive Steve Tew said from Dublin.

“It was looking like it was going to hit a wall at the meeting but we have at least managed to get it to go back to unions for further consultation.”

But Tew is realistic with the rule needing a 75 percent majority to be passed: “Frankly it is a big hill to climb. There is some pretty strong opposition in the north. But at least we have got another shot at it.”

At the moment the IRB rules are strict – once a player represents one country that’s his lot for life.

New Zealand is keen on seeing the rule amended to allow for more leniencies believing it can help the game in the Pacific.

While rugby wouldn’t want to fall into the loose rules that cover eligibility in league, there appears to be some merit in relaxing the legislation.

Rugby is littered with players who have their hands tied through limited appearances.

Sosene Anesi’s 12 minutes as an All Black in 2005 cost him any chance of playing for Samoa. But it works the other way too – a young Isa Nacewa played a handful of minutes for Fiji at the 2003 World Cup which was a disaster for his All Blacks aspirations

There are many former internationals still playing with enough miles left on their clocks to make useful contributions to their lesser test teams.

Former All Blacks Doug Howlett, Sam Tuitupou, Sione Lauaki and Saimone Taumoepeau would all come into the frame for Tonga.

Samoa could be boosted by the likes of Jerry Collins, Chris Masoe, Anesi and Casey Laulala.

Meanwhile Tew was enthusiastic about the changes approved to the international touring schedule.

The IRB has mapped out a 10-year schedule from 2012 that will see Six Nations teams touring Sanzar countries in June and playing three test series with also the possibility of midweek matches.

Tew said that coming on top of the initiative last week that opened the way for leading Pumas to be available for the Argentina side to contest the 2012 Four Nations tournament, New Zealand rugby now had a solid calendar in front of it.

“Having the international match schedule locked in place is an important piece of certainty for our own planning and comfort,” Tew said.

Tew paid tribute to New Zealand’s Neil Sorenson who was part of the working party that got the changes through.

“They have done the hard yards and done a good job.”

He believed a three-test series would have more benefits than the current inbound tours in June that see the All Blacks play one opponent twice and another once.

Tew said the inbound tours from 2012 would be announced shortly once New Zealand had signed off with their opponents.



20 Comments

  • The All Blacks will be the major beneficiaries from this if it is approved. They can use the Islanders as a proving ground before getting players to commit to the ABs.

  • Comment 1, posted at 19.05.10 19:48:47 by KSA Stormer © Reply
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  • We can also possibly benefit!
    I can just visualise the Fijian Kallievoekie in a Bok jersey!
    Good times!! :twisted:

  • Comment 2, posted at 19.05.10 20:06:28 by wpw Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 2) :

    or Bradley in a Bok Jersey after playing for England :roll: :razz:

  • Comment 3, posted at 19.05.10 20:12:06 by KSA Stormer © Reply

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  • Bradley is overrated!! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 4, posted at 19.05.10 20:14:30 by wpw Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 4) :

    I sing tenor in the choir.

  • Comment 5, posted at 19.05.10 20:42:05 by KSA Stormer © Reply

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  • @wpw (Comment 2) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 6, posted at 19.05.10 21:12:28 by rekinek Reply
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  • @KSA Stormer © (Comment 1) : I read somewhere that it would only work for players going from 1st tier nations to 2nd tier nations.

  • Comment 7, posted at 19.05.10 21:30:06 by lostfish Reply
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  • @lostfish (Comment 7) :

    That would actually work quite well.

  • Comment 8, posted at 20.05.10 06:19:07 by KSA Stormer © Reply

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  • @lostfish (Comment 7) : Could still hurt the lower tier nations – a player could decline playing for Namibia/Samoa in order to not spoil his chances of playing for the Bokke/All Blacks.

  • Comment 9, posted at 20.05.10 06:44:15 by MysticShark Reply
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  • @MysticShark (Comment 9) : Isn’t it just the opposite…isn’t that happening now !

  • Comment 10, posted at 20.05.10 09:41:20 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @lostfish (Comment 7) :
    #
    Totally agree that is what i heard as well….why not seems a logical move.

  • Comment 11, posted at 20.05.10 09:42:07 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • Yeah sure, NZ wants to strenghten the rugby in the Pacific islands.

    They just want to poach even more talent from the Islands. Clear as daylight their intentions.

  • Comment 12, posted at 20.05.10 09:45:51 by Oubaas2009 Reply

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  • @Oubaas2009 (Comment 12) :

    There is not to much out and out poaching these days most Pacific Islanders live in NZ or Aussie anyway.

    Many othere leave the Islands to go to school.

  • Comment 13, posted at 20.05.10 09:51:17 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • Just imagine if you were Fijian and you actually could play for Fiji how crazy would that be !

    We may even have a different RWC Champion !

  • Comment 14, posted at 20.05.10 09:58:12 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • I wonder what it would be like if all rugby nations were only allowed to select players who were born in their country??

    We would probably only lose The Beast which wouldn’t be the end of the world but think of NZ and Aus!!

    I doubt they would be as competitive as the Boks.

  • Comment 15, posted at 20.05.10 10:08:25 by wpw Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 15) :

    I think were would only lose our wingers

    England would lose a fair few

    Shaw for example :mrgreen:

  • Comment 16, posted at 20.05.10 10:14:47 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 15) :

    But it’s not going to happen !

  • Comment 17, posted at 20.05.10 10:15:27 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 16) :

    In recent years you guys have selected quite a few Islanders. Off the top of my head I can think of:

    Soioalo (sp?)
    Nonu
    Jerry Collins
    Howlett
    Joe Rokocoko (sp?)
    Afoa
    Tialata
    Lomu
    Toeava
    Bunce
    Randell
    Ireamia (sp?)
    Weepu

  • Comment 18, posted at 20.05.10 10:45:07 by wpw Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 18) :

    Yeah but i think you will find most of those were born in NZ

    …i think from that list Rokocoko and Collins maybe the only ones

    ….i’m not sure though

    ….Sivivatu is another one that was genuinely poached

  • Comment 19, posted at 20.05.10 10:49:05 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 18) :

    More to the point imagine if they were allowed to go back and play for the country of their Ethnic origin

    ….how good could some of those teams be come RWC Years.

  • Comment 20, posted at 20.05.10 10:50:50 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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