Thursday, 19 January 2017

Residency rules under attack from common sense?

I’m not sure how impressed to be by reports that the RFU is pushing for reforms to international eligibility regulations by demanding that the residential qualification period increases from 3 to 5 years and has hinted that, even if the measure is not voted through by World Rigby in May this year, England may impose its own 5 year residency rule.

This follows the announcement by the French Rugby Federation in December that it would no longer select players qualifying under the 3 year residency rule but instead would only select players with a French passport.

As far as I am concerned, any move towards tightening the regulations is welcome (and I would also scrap the grandparent rule) and it would appear that common sense is beginning to prevail.

It does, however, seem strange that the RFU is spearheading this particular crusade, given that Fijian Nathan Hughes was capped by England under the 3 year residency rule as recently as November 2016.

Far be it for me to suggest then that the RFU’s present stance might be a tad confusing, inconsistent, opportunistic and, dare I say it, hypocritical?

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