Tuitavake has been talking to other Tongan players in the Top 14. Photo: Skysports
Former All Black Anthony Tuitavake has revealed that he has already spoken with a number of other players in France about the new IRB loophole which could allow players to switch nationalities despite having already featured at Test level.
The introduction of rugby sevens as an Olympic sport has seen a change to the IRB regulations on qualifying criteria, and it could allow international players to switch countries provided they have not featured at Test level for the last 18 months, and hold a passport for their ‘new’ country.
They would then have to feature internationally in an Olympic Sevens event, which includes the IRB Sevens World Series, the official qualifying tournament.
Anthony Tuitavake could be in Tongan colours in the RWC next year. Photo: Skysports
A number of former All Blacks have confirmed that they intend to make themselves available for other countries at next year’s World Cup.
A loophole in the IRB’s Olympic Sevens qualifying regulations which allows capped players the opportunity to swap countries could open the way for the likes of ex-All Blacks Anthony Tuitavake, Sam Tuitupou and ex-Wallabies Mark Gerrard and Sitaleki Timani to represent the Pacific Island nations for which they hold passports.
In 2013, the IRB created an exemption to Regulation 8 governing eligibility for the Rio Olympics. It applies with a stand down period of 18 months for Rio, thereafter it will be three years.