ELIGIBILITY RULES USHER IN BRAVE NEW WORLD
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.
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!