The Romanian Rugby Union will appeal the decision to deduct points from the national team for fielding ineligible players, which prevented their progression to the 2019 World Cup.
In a statement released on Tuesday, World Rugby confirmed that Romania, Belgium and Spain all had points deducted following an independent judicial and disputes committee decision.
The decision saw Russia automatically qualify for the 2019 World Cup, joining Ireland, Scotland, Japan and the playoff winner in Pool A. World Rugby also confirmed that Germany will progress to the European playoff with Portugal, subject to the appeals process.
However, in a statement released on Wednesday, the Romanian Rugby Union announced that it disagrees with the dispute committee’s findings.
‘The Romanian Rugby Union disagrees with the decision of the disputes committee, as it applies identical points deduction to all countries with eligibility issues, no matter if they followed the mandatory procedures or not. In order to evaluate the situation, here are the facts as they happened.
‘In 2015 the RRU sent World Rugby the scanned files of multiple foreign players in order to check their eligibility. A World Rugby representative answered, stating that the documents have to be sent to them for clarification only if there are uncertainties, otherwise not.
‘In order to check the eligibility of two players, the RRU sends emails to the union of their native countries, Tonga and Fiji in these particular cases, with no answer from Tonga (Fiji replied that the player we inquired about had been capped, so all actions have been dismissed in his case – Eseria Vueti)
‘Considering the absence of feedback from the Federation of Tonga, the RRU addressed World Rugby to find an alternate e-mail address to contact a person in charge from the aforementioned union.
‘World Rugby sent an e-mail address from the chairman of the Tongan Union, Mr. Fe’ao Vunipola, whom the RRU addressed in order to check if, from the statistical data the unions has, [if] the player Sione Faka’osilea is eligible or not.
‘The chairman of the Tonga Rugby Federation confirmed that the player is eligible to play for Romania,’ the statement concluded.
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