World Rugby set to vote on allowing Test-team switches

World Rugby is set to hold a landmark vote at the end of November on changes to the eligibility rules that will allow international players to switch nationality.

According to BBC Sport, the game’s governing body will discuss the proposal during the next council meeting on 24 November.

A 75% majority is needed to pass the ruling.

If the new proposals are passed, players will be able to represent the country of their ancestors’ birth after a three-year stand-down period.

This would allow Bristol Bears fullback Charles Piutau, who played 17 Tests for New Zealand between 2013 and 2015, to represent Tonga as early as next year.

Players would need to have a “close and credible link” to another country – through birth or the birthplace of parents or grandparents – to switch Test-rugby allegiances. They would only be able to do this once in their careers.

According to the report, the proposals are well supported by the Pacific Island countries, given there are a high number of players with Pacific Island ancestry representing other nations.

Under current rules, a player is captured once they have won a senior Test cap and are tied to that country and cannot represent another nation.


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Dylan Jack