“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.”
Rugby’s Residency Rule Has Been Changed
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World Rugby has voted to increase the required residency period to be eligible for international rugby from three to five years.
The sport’s global governing body approved the recommended extension at at a council meeting held in Kyoto this morning ahead of the Rugby World Cup 2019 draw.
It is hoped that raising the level from 36 to 60 months will safeguard the playing resources of smaller nations – particularly the Pacific Island teams – by discouraging their stars from pledging allegiance to other countries.
In addition the decision effectively ends ‘project players’, the controversial policy of players being lured away by other nations with the intention of representing them in the Test arena when eligible.
“This is an historic moment for the sport and a great step towards protecting the integrity, ethos and stature of international rugby,” World Rugby vice chairman Agustin Pichot said.
“These amendments will ensure that the international arena is full of players devoted to their nation, who got there on merit.”
“National team representation is the reward for devoting your career and your rugby life to your nation.”