Category Archives: Switch Allegiance

Tuitavake seeks Tonga switch

Tuitavake has been talking to other Tongan players in the Top 14. Photo: Skysports

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.

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Filed under All Blacks, Focus on rwc, French Club, Olympics, Pacific Islanders, Rio de Janeiro, Switch Allegiance, Tonga, Wallabies, William Webb-Ellis Cup

Fiji boss backs new eligibility rule

Fiji sevens coach Ben Ryan backs new IRB ruling which could see Rokocoko and Sivivatu playing for Fiji in the future. Photo: Skysports

Fiji sevens coach Ben Ryan backs new IRB ruling which could see Rokocoko and Sivivatu playing for Fiji in the future. Photo: Skysports

Fiji Sevens head coach Ben Ryan is firmly behind the new IRB Regulation 8 to allow players a second chance at international rugby.

A number of players capped by New Zealand and Australia but born in the Pacific Islands are hoping to represent the countries of their birth or ancestry at next year’s Rugby World Cup under the new rules.

Speaking exclusively to Planet Rugby, Ryan outlined the developments behind the regulation coming into action ahead of the Olympics in 2016.

“It’s all come about because IOC (International Olympic Committee) regulations for eligibility are different to the IRB, so the passport has become crucial,” said Ryan.

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Filed under England 2015, Fiji Rugby Union, Fijian players, Flying Fijians, Focus on rwc, Olympics, Rio de Janeiro, Sevens, Switch Allegiance

Ex-All Blacks keen to switch allegiance

Anthony Tuitavake could be in Tongan colours in RWC next year. Photo: Skysports

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.

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Filed under All Blacks, Focus on rwc, Switch Allegiance, William Webb-Ellis Cup