World Rugby increases residency period qualification

England benefitted from the three-year residency rule on eligibility for international rugby by picking Denny Solomona. World Rugby have now increased
England benefitted from the three-year residency rule on eligibility for international rugby by picking Denny Solomona. World Rugby have now increased the residency period to five years
©PA

World Rugby has confirmed an increase in the residency period qualification for international rugby from three to five years.

The news broke out following the board's council meeting held in Kyoto on Wednesday and it is understood that vice-chairman of World Rugby and former Argentina scrum-half Agustin Pichot has been the driving force behind the move.

The decision will also benefit a number of smaller nations especially Pacific Islands where the players get lured away to ply their trade in other countries with a hope to represent their Test side. France had a number of players from the Fijian origin during their autumn internationals while Nathan Hughes, Semesa Rokoduguni and most recently Denny Solomona are in contention for the England side.

"This is an historic moment for the sport and a great step towards protecting the integrity, ethos and stature of international rugby," Pichot said.

"National team representation is the reward for devoting your career and your rugby life to your nation.

"These amendments will ensure that the international arena is full of players devoted to their nation, who got there on merit."

World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont described the move as an "important decision" to help the countries preserve their talents.

"This reform of Regulation 8 governing eligibility is an important and necessary step to protecting the integrity and credibility of international rugby," said Beaumont.

"This extension to the residency period within a forward-thinking reform package will ensure a close, credible and established link between a union and players, which is good for rugby and good for fans.

"I would like to thank my union colleagues for their support and in particular the leadership role that Agustín Pichot played in this very important process that has delivered an outcome that is good for the global game."

A World Rugby statement added: "It was determined that regulation 8 was not in step with the modern game, did not provide an adequate framework to protect the integrity of the international game and does not provide a deterrent to player drain from emerging rugby nations."

 
 

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