Longer wait for ‘poached’ play­ers

The Gold Coast Bulletin - - SPORT -

WORLD Rugby has cracked down on Test na­tions poach­ing “project play­ers” from other coun­tries by ex­tend­ing the el­i­gi­bil­ity wait­ing pe­riod from three years to five years.

The changes to Reg­u­la­tion 8 will see play­ers want­ing to switch na­tions to play Test rugby have to spend 60 con­sec­u­tive months in their new coun­try to be el­i­gi­ble via res­i­dency, and will come into ef­fect in 2021.

Queens­land Reds prop Taniela Tupou aka “Ton­gan Thor”, will be­come el­i­gi­ble for the Wal­la­bies this year as ex­pected un­der the three-year res­i­dency re­quire­ment.

Stand­out Western Force rookie Isi Nais­arani, the Fi­jian­born No.8, will also be qual­i­fied for the Wal­la­bies by 2020.

“Rep­re­sen­ta­tion is the re­ward for de­vot­ing your ca­reer, your rugby life, to your na­tion and these amend­ments will en­sure that the in­ter­na­tional arena is full of play­ers de­voted to their na­tion, who got there on merit,” World Rugby vicechair­man Agustin Pi­chot said.

Ton­gan Thor, Taniela Tupou.

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