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RWC2019 - ineligable players - crazy or lazy
Jonny_C (IP Logged)
16 May, 2018 11:19
Hard to believe these stories about qualification for RWC2019. Can Spain, Romania and Belgium rugby unions be that daft not to perform background checks on players they're putting on the pitch? Crazy or lazy.

Obviously someone out there did their homework to highlight this.


Re: RWC2019 - ineligable players - crazy or lazy
17 May, 2018 10:46
I know the case of Spain. They have two French players with Spanish parents, that qualifies them to play for Spain. They played for France under 20, that still makes them selectable for Spain. The problem is that although they don't get selected for the senior French squad, they are still somehow "earmarked" by France, which apparently makes it illegal for them to play for any other country. These players will never play for Spain again, and probably not for France either. A £25,000 fine to the Spanish Federation of Rugby is possibly 50% of their annual budget. Crazy.

Bilbao just hosted the European rugby finals and many of us have put a lot of effort in promoting rugby in Spain, but this ruling is a huge step-back on Spanish rugby. England can still select the Vunipola brothers who have no connection to England, but Spain can't field players that have Spanish parents, speak fluent Spanish from birth and earn their living in France because Spain doesn't have a professional league.

Re: RWC2019 - ineligable players - crazy or lazy
HMRH (IP Logged)
17 May, 2018 11:02
But surely he Spanish union knew that?

Not debating whether the rule is a good one but surely administratively this was a known fact?

Re: RWC2019 - ineligable players - crazy or lazy
Margin_Walker (IP Logged)
17 May, 2018 11:05
I'm assuming the Spanish lads played for France U20s in a game against another team who nominated their U20s as their second team. In which case they would be captured and not selectable by Spain.

Edit - Definitely an argument for a central database tracking player eligibility, but Spain could have avoided it with a little due diligence when selecting players that are likely to be high risk in this regard (i.e have played some sort of rep rugby for another nation)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 17/05/2018 11:07 by Margin_Walker.

Re: RWC2019 - ineligable players - crazy or lazy
Griff (IP Logged)
17 May, 2018 11:46
There's a bit more info on the Eggchasers second (and actually listenable audio quality) podcast this week. France's "capture team" has flipped between their U20s and others a lot in recent years so mix-ups are understandable. The expectation of the second-tier (who are in-the-main semi-pro) to manage complicated criteria is a bit much. There should be some help for them from World Rugby but they're mostly left to it.

To be fair had Romania not managed to put a partisan ref in-place for the WC qualifying match the ineligable players issue wouldn't even have been raised.

Re: RWC2019 - ineligable players - crazy or lazy
Margin_Walker (IP Logged)
17 May, 2018 11:54
The partisan ref angle doesn't hold up too much for me. You could argue that many six nations games have 'partisan' refs. With an English ref theoretically having an interest in the result of a game like Ireland v Italy for example (i.e he'd want England's closest rival to lose).

Ref's performance can certainly be examined, but appointing a ref from a nation in the same tournament is pretty standard.

Re: RWC2019 - ineligable players - crazy or lazy
Griff (IP Logged)
17 May, 2018 13:28
I mostly agree MW but I think the point here is that Spain asked for a referee change because they suspected a problem would occur. They were denied. The request was perfectly reasonable in the circumstances and they could've easily swapped refs with another game. As I recall there was an English referee covering another game (that also didn't involve Romania).

Re: RWC2019 - ineligable players - crazy or lazy
Margin_Walker (IP Logged)
17 May, 2018 13:37
Think there comes a point where you have to trust the integrity of referrees (whilst by all means investigating if something seems amiss after the game)

Accepting requests from unions for refs to be stood down from games sets a dangerous precident for me. Not sure I'd be comfortable for example with 6 nations countries asking for Wayne Barnes, Nigel Owens etc to be removed from games that could impact England/Wales.

Obviously a fairly complex issue though.

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