World Rugby Votes To Change Controversial Residency Rule

World Rugby Votes To Change Controversial Residency Rule
By PJ Browne

World Rugby this morning voted to change the period of residency required to be eligible for international rugby from three years to five years.

In a statement, the governing body said the controversial three-year rule did not provide a sufficient deterrent to prevent the drain of players from emerging nations.

The new rule will not come into effect until December 31st, 2020.

 

Agustin Pichot, the former Argentina scrum-half and current vice-chairman of World Rugby, was one of the driving forces behind changing the rule.

This is an historic moment for the sport and a great step towards protecting the integrity, ethos and stature of international rugby.

National team representation is the reward for devoting your career, your rugby life, to your nation and these amendments will ensure that the international arena is full of players devoted to their nation, who got there on merit.

Ireland have been one of the major beneficiaries of the three-year residency rule. CJ Stander, Jared Payne and Richard Strauss all became eligible to play for Ireland under the three-year rule.

Joe Schmidt's side may yet benefit further. Though he has not yet committed to playing for Ireland, Bundee Aki becomes eligible to pull on an Ireland shirt in October and Munster out-half Tyler Bleyendall will be eligible in time for next year's Six Nations.

Picture credit: Sportsfile

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