Samoa PM upset at IRB eligibility ruling


eight_col_Tuilaepa_Sailele_Malielegaoi_fullSamoa’s Prime Minister and chairman of the country’s rugby union has attacked the International Rugby Board’s latest rulings on eligibility.

A loophole in IRB regulations enables players to compete for a second nation in sevens at the 2016 Olympics if they hold a passport for that country, have not played international rugby for at least 18 months and play at least one tournament in the upcoming World Series.

But the threshold for fifteens has been tightened, with players now required to serve a three-year stand-down period and play in four sevens’ tournaments, and at the Olympics, before they can make the switch.

The Samoa rugby union chairman, Tuila’epa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, says there is a lack of justice and fairness in the amendment which does not create a fair playing field.

Tuila’epa says the latest restriction will make it difficult for small unions like Samoa to access the best players for 2016.

Source:Radio New Zealand

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