World Rugby residency rules to change

World Rugby’s residency rules are set for a major overhaul.

The residency rule in Rugby Union is set to be changed, meaning the minimum length of time needed to spend playing in a country not of their birth to qualify to play international rugby with that country is to go up from three years to five according to the WRU.

In October of last year, the World Rugby Union launched a review of the existing rule following strong criticism from many countries, and it is widely reported that, while they are in Japan, a World Rugby council meeting will confirm the extension of the rule.

Many people have agreed with the rule such as the WRU CEO Ian Ritchie. He said:

‘The increase from three to five years on the residency qualification is right and is a good thing and that is generally now being supported’.

‘It is a matter for World Rugby but it will go to the council meeting in May and there is a very good chance of it being adopted’.

‘There is every chance of the general principle being in for next season if it is voted on. There will be every emphasis on adopting it sooner rather than later’.

The latter part of that statement would mean that the uncapped players who sign for clubs ahead of next season will be subject to the five-year rule.

Bundee Aki would still qualify under the old 3-year rule

For example, Ireland would have to wait five years for Leinster’s new winger James Lowe to qualify for Ireland, whereas the likes of Bundee Aki, Tyler Bleyendaal, and Jamison Gibson-Park would all qualify for Ireland under the three-year agreement.

This is because they have lived in the country before this rule was put in place. Aki will be eligible in October, while Munster’s Bleyendaal in January 2018.

Ireland have benefitted from the three-year rule, with top plays such as Munster’s CJ Stander. New Zealand have been accused of over exploiting it, by plundering the top talents from neighbouring Pacific Islands.

Social Sharing

Posted in

“It’s something I always had in the back of my mind” | Mike Prendergast on returning home as Munster coach

The Limerick man returned to the province this summer from Top 14 side Racing 92, where he held ...
Read More

Limerick clubs learn opponents for Bank Of Ireland Munster Senior Challenge Cup

The draw has been made for the 2022/23 Bank of Ireland Munster Senior Challenge Cup with 16 teams ...
Read More

“There’s a lot of trust between all of us already” | New Munster forwards coach Andi Kyriacou settling in well to new role

Kyriacou represented Munster in the 2006/07 season on loan from Saracens. Newly-appointed Munster forwards coach Andi Kyriacou has ...
Read More

“Very enjoyable so far” | Denis Leamy enjoying return to Munster as Defence Coach

Leamy will return to the province, whom he represented for eleven years, as a coach this season. Shortly ...
Read More

Munster to kick off URC season with Friday night clash in Cardiff as fixtures confirmed

Full fixture details have been confirmed for all 18 of Munster’s 2022/23 United Rugby Championship fixtures. The campaign ...
Read More

Ukrainian Integration Fund to benefit from annual Kilkee Beach rugby match

The Limerick Leprechauns are celebrating 30 years of continuous charitable events. Limerick Leprechauns RFC will be hosting their ...
Read More

Getting to know Graham Rowntree’s new-look Coaching Team at Munster

Munster are under new management for the 2022/23 season which kicks off next month. After months of speculation, ...
Read More

Andy Farrell extends Ireland stay to 2025

Farrell recently led Ireland to a first ever series win in New Zealand. Ireland Men’s Head Coach, Andy Farrell, ...
Read More