Rugby News: Committee To Oversee Sevens Transfer Requests


rugbyWith Rugby starting in 2016 as an Olympic sport, a loophole became available for players who previously had played international rugby for a country and wanted to change their allegiances in Sevens, which then would have carried over to the game of 15-man.

Players who have passports from another country and had not played international rugby during the previous 18 months, just need to take part in a tournament of Olympic Sevens, including the qualifiers, to be eligible for the XV’s for their new country.

Because of that, many of the top players in the sport have considered changing countries, including Steffon Armitage the current Player of the Year in Europe. Armitage could become eligible to play for France, as well as Alex Tulou the number eight for Montpellier.

Isaia Toeava the World Cup winner is one of many players tied to the country of New Zealand who expresses an interest in representing the country of Samoa. Steve Mafi from Tonga is attempting to become Australian.

However, CEO Brett Gosper of the IRB revealed there is a committee that will oversee all the applications to ensure theses moves are not done as an excuse to play for another country in XVs.

Gosper said there is a committee that oversees the regulations that will look at each application asking a transfer and they will determine if it is for bona fide reasons dealing with Sevens.

There exists a safety net and each transfer much be approved by the committee, by acting in accordance with the spirit of the law.

Gosper said that for example if there are huge props applying for a sevens career, then the committee will smell a rate.

Any obvious abuse of the transfer loophole that is counter to the spirit of the sport will be caught up in the committee’s regulations net.

Players such as Armitage, Toeava along with Fritz Lee another Samoan hopeful have played Sevens internationally in the past.

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