EL­I­GI­BIL­ITY RULES USHER IN BRAVE NEW WORLD

Rugby League Week - - The Head Bin - @RLW­farand­wide BY STEVE MASCORD

SINCE OUR LAST COL­UMN, TWO BIG CHANGES

have been made to the rules for in­ter­na­tional el­i­gi­bil­ity.

One, play­ers must have lived in a coun­try for five years – up from three – to qual­ify on res­i­dency grounds. Un­der this rule, Semi Radradra [above] would not have been al­lowed to rep­re­sent Aus­tralia this year, nor Rangi Chase or Mau­rie Fa’asavalu rep­re­sent Eng­land over the past decade.

Se­condly, State of Ori­gin play­ers will have free gang­way be­tween Aus­tralia and tier-two coun­tries for which they prop­erly qual­ify with­out chang­ing their coun­try of elec­tion.

This means NSW and Queens­land will no longer be able to in­tim­i­date play­ers out of rep­re­sent­ing other coun­tries by threat­en­ing them with non­s­e­lec­tion for a state for which they prop­erly qual­ify. How­ever, it en­shrines a scene in which the de­vel­op­ing coun­tries get the Big Three’s left­overs, mak­ing it dif­fi­cult to see us get­ting a fourth toplevel na­tion any time soon.

HERE’S ONE FROM THE “ONLY IN RUGBY

league” depart­ment – the coach of France has been named in Spain’s in­ter­na­tional squad!

The Span­ish have Pool B Euro­pean World Cup qual­i­fiers com­ing up and have named a 40-man squad. For­mer French in­ter­na­tion­als Mathieu Griffi, Ni­co­las Munoz and Lau­rent Car­rasco have made it. So too has Richard Agar’s suc­ces­sor with the Les Chan­ti­cleers clip­board, Aure­lien Cologni – se­ri­ously!

Of course, he won’t ac­tu­ally play, will he? But this rugby league, so any­thing is pos­si­ble. Per­haps Mal Meninga will make a Van­u­atu train-on squad some­day soon.

EMERG­ING NA­TIONS BID­DING TO PLAY

cur­tain-rais­ers for the next World Cup are still work­ing hard on their pro­posal – and they need your help.

So far the fund­ing tar­get for the fea­si­bil­ity study is a long way short of its tar­get. If you sup­port in­ter­na­tional rugby league, go to the link be­low and pledge any amount.

https://www.gen­eros­ity.com/sports­fundrais­ing/emerg­ing-na­tions-fea­si­bil­ityassess­ment-re­port/x/14828019

ALL THE BIG END-OF-SEA­SON

in­ter­na­tion­als are grow­ing closer and that means squad an­nounce­ments.

Sus­pended Wi­gan prop Ben Flower joins War­ring­ton winger Rhys Evans, Widnes pair Gil Dud­son and Lloyd White in the Wales team to take part in the Euro­pean Pool A qual­i­fiers, while half the Rus­sian squad for the Pool B qual­i­fiers are debu­tants. How­ever, there are some veter­ans as well: Ana­toly Grig­o­ryev, Sergei Kon­stanti­nov, Vladimir Vlasyuk and Niko­lay Zagoskin from Nara and Moscow Storm’s Vadim Fed­chuk fea­tured in the qual­i­fier for the 2008 World Cup against Hol­land!

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