Residency rule change unlikely to affect Bundee Aki's Ireland representation

Bundee Aki, right, could still play for Ireland in November even if World Rugby change the residency qualification rules in May
Bundee Aki, right, could still play for Ireland in November even if World Rugby change the residency qualification rules in May
©PA

Connacht centre Bundee Aki's desire to feature for Ireland is unlikely to be affected by the change in residency qualification rules.

World Rugby is considering to increase the number of years for residency qualification to five from the present three during their council meeting in May. However, according to reports, the sports governing body might provide grace period to benefit players from being caught in a limbo.

New Zealand born centre Aki joined Connacht in 2014 and will be eligible to represent Ireland in October, which will keep him in contention for the autumn internationals. The 26-year-old is already qualified to represent New Zealand and Samoa.

Former Argentina international and World Rugby vice-chairman Gus Pichot has been stressing on the residency change rule to help home teams getting depleted of promising talents for attractive offers overseas.

Though, Aki is yet to confirm his commitment to Ireland, his recent contract extension with Connacht has given clear signs to head coach Joe Schmidt.

 

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