World Rugby states u20s may not be next senior national representative team

World Rugby sent out mixed signals about “the important and necessary step to protecting the integrity and credibility of international rugby”.

World Rugby’s confirmed change from 3 to 5 years of residency will certainly help increasingly under fire nations like South Africa however scrapping the u20 national B-team status could have counter productive.

This u20 rule change will ensure that the quality of the World Rugby u20 Championship is upheld with selected talented youngsters from under threat nations not being burdened by the long term consequences of their choices and continuing to make themselves available. However with the trend suggesting that promising rugby players will move overseas at younger ages in larger numbers, not having an u20 mechanism to at least try and guarantee their availability for test rugby when they are in their prime, could have a significant impact on international rugby in the years to come.

The best solution would be one that makes it as unattractive as possible to hold out for new nation residency qualifications and one in which European (and Japanese) club rugby also plays an increasing role by upping their measures to limit opportunities for overseas players. Maintaining strong domestic leagues are conditioned upon having quality players available to support it. The still relatively strong Southern Hemisphere rugby is heading for serious trouble in this regard with the player drain almost certain to create a situation from which there may be no return.

From World Rugby:

An historic programme of reform of rugby’s international eligibility regulation has been approved by the World Rugby Council today at its special meeting in Kyoto, Japan in 2017.

Regulation 8 change follows detailed review and union consultation and is designed to create a framework that protects the integrity and credibility of international rugby

*Residency period extended from 36 consecutive months to 60 consecutive months
*Council approves expanded voting rights for Argentina and Japan
*Bernard Laporte elected onto the World Rugby Executive Committee

Designed to promote and protect the integrity and sanctity of international rugby in the modern elite environment, reform of Regulation 8 follows a root-and-branch review with Council members unanimously approving the recommended increase in the required residency period to be eligible for international rugby from 36 to 60 months.

The reformed Regulation 8 ensures that a player has a genuine, close, credible and established link with the nation of representation, and the key amendments are:

*The 36-month residency requirement is increased to 60 months with effect from 31 December, 2020 (unanimously approved)

*The addition of a residency criteria which permits players who have 10 years of cumulative residency to be eligible (effective May 10, 2017) (unanimously approved)

*Unions may no longer nominate their U20s team as their next senior national representative team (effective 1 January, 2018) (majority)

(Note the Rule reads: 8.2: A Player who has played for the senior fifteen-a-side National Representative Team or the next senior fifteen-a-side National Representative Team or the senior National Representative Sevens Team of a Union is not eligible to play for the senior fifteen-a-side National Representative Team or the next senior fifteen-a-side National Representative Team or the senior National Representative Sevens Team of another Union.)

*Sevens players will only be captured for the purposes of Regulation 8 where the player has represented either of (i) the senior national representative sevens team of a union where the player has reached the age of 20 on or before the date of participation; or (ii) the national representative sevens team of a union in the Olympic Games or Rugby World Cup Sevens, having reached the age of majority on or before the date of participation in such tournament (effective 1 July, 2017) (majority)


  1. Now we only need a single global calendar and that will also allow players to represent their home nations in tests. If we could use any of the 300 or so South Africans, it will make a massive difference. Especially when it comes to experience and depth.

    I also feel the IRB should say that no national union will be protected by this new regulations if their country’s political system discriminate against anybody in their system be it players, coaches or anybody else on the bases of color and so on. National team selection should only be based on merit and no government should be allowed to subscribe selection policy to any national rugby union.

    It is good to protect and stop the player drain in smaller less affluent country’s but players should also be protected against politicians that got their own political agendas.

  2. @Stier: “Now we only need a single global calendar and that will also allow players to represent their home nations in tests.”
    I agree with this.My reasons are twofold, and one of them lead to a disagreement I have with you in your third paragraph:
    a) his can do away with the unavailability of players during their test series because they are fulfilling club commitments in Europe/Japan
    b) players who choose to play overseas can play there fulltime, and not hop between their overseas clubs and Super Rugby franchises taking the place of promising domestic players

    Though quotas are (used as) a reason by some players for leaving SA and playing oorkant, the truth of the matter is that our money does not compare to the money offered overseas. One only has to look at the movement of boys between schools at SBR level to see this. The quota argument in that regard is just a convenient excuse in my view. Keep them, get rid of them, I couldn’t be bothered.

    I went to a talk given by a current SBR player some months back – white guy…he said the following when asked about quotas and their effect on rugby in SA: “I went to a school where I was one of 50 white boys in a class of 150 boys. I competed with black kids throughout school. I have the benefit of having leaned early that blacks are my competitors, and there are plenty who are better than me at what I do. There are people in rugby and in business who still don’t get that.”

    That player happens to have gone to Dale.

    I may have had a few words out of place but that was the crux of his message. Just in case there is someone there who was at the interview.

  3. @Playa: So players should not be protected against political interference from governments?

    As for the boy he is correct everybody that compete knows it has nothing to do with a persons color.

  4. @Stier: Not my point.I think everyone should be protected from political interference.Apple mentioned something in another thread about how historical political interference is.And yet we have people who talk up Boks of 87 or 91 without considering political interference of that time.But I degress.Yes there shouldn’t be I agree fully.
    Habana is the last person to connect players leaving and politics.Bryan Mujati also claims politics…he’s black…and he’s Dim.He left Zim for political reasons and yet I find it hard to believe he left SA or the same reasons yet he says so.

  5. @Stier: This makes no sense to me. SA rugby players can ply their trade far and wide, outside our borders, no problem, and still play for SA – as per you, but Garsfontein can’t take players from Riebeeks Kasteel because that’s unfair, they must develope their own PD players in Pretoria? Are you for real?

  6. @McCulleys Workshop: Funny how it’s ok when faces are all white,scream quota when there are black faces around and then every one keeps quiet when a a Boishaai team with 7 Blacks beats an all white Grey Bloem for Two years straight. Then you still have the quotas argument…from the same Boishaai peeps for fuck sakes

  7. @Playa: Who has the problem Stier?You or the politician? Boishaai will win tomorrow.With Grey’s only everr black fly half

  8. @Playa: @McCulleys Workshop: Maybe you shoud relax and consider what was said. 1) All I said is that no countrys politicians should be allowed to interfere with their rugby unions. So that would have forced them to act against the apartheid government to, get it? Playa, like you say everybody should be protected. Unfortunately qoutas are forced on our rugby by our government, the exchange rate , player conditions, life style what ever is not something our politicians have any say over or are forcing onto rugby players. I hope this makes my point clearer. So Habana is not telling the truth? Just because you don’t like what he is saying or you canvgive us some facts maybe?

    2) @Playa: As for the 86 team they were brilliant, finish and klaar, the fact that we had a unjust and unfair political system does not change the fact that they were still the most talented team I have ever seen. Who konws, had we never had apartheid they probably would have been even better with some of our black compatriots in the team, but we will never know.

    3)@McCulleys Workshop: You are now comparing a school system to our professional rugby arm? Are you serious? The one must develop players so we can have professional rugby players and so we can develop all kids everywhere in our country and give them the opportunity to play the game and compete at the highest level. All kids in all regions not just the white kids in Sourh Africa and the non white kids in the WP and EP. Schools have become the main feeder system for pro rugby, then schools should develop their local non white talent just as they develop their local white talent. No union will have the money to develop any rugby in their region without the help of their local schools. I challenge you to tell me how you think players should be developed in South Africa…

    I am not going to explain pro rugby to you I think you know it’s something completely different to schoolboy rugby?

    4) @Playa: Your a funny guy. You made my point. Like you say Boishaai had a mixed team selected on merit only no inforced qoutas from government needed and they were the no.1 team in 2015 and 2016. A white coach selected that team, he based his selections on merit and selected the boys he felt was the best, not everybody always agreed with him as to who the best players were but he selected them based on merit and who he believed the best were. That is what we all want.

    If he was forced to select that very same team by the principal, I don’t know, lets say because of some political qouta or some other political system everybody would have complained. Political interference is political interference no matter who is doing it and for what reason. All politicians believe they are doing it for the right reasons in the beginning. But once things go south and believe me it always does what then? Then there is no rule in place to stop it. Qoutas are something that can be misused easily by politicians to discriminat against people. Why give them that tool?

  9. @McCulleys Workshop: @Playa: Gentlemen, @Stier made comments about the benefits/negatives of political interference in sport. Your views not very clear at this stage. You only commenting on other people’s reactions.
    Historically political interference have marginally benefitted some of the previously disadvantaged and massively discriminated against “those not previously disadvantaged”, as the system is not in practice based on fairness. If fairness was involved, then this political system would not be required. If you have a problem with inherent unfairness in a historic system, then address the system directly through a positive intervention. Why destroy some to “unfairly at first” promote others. If this unjust quota system is abolished then true deserving kids and players will come through (regardless of colour, creed or background).
    There is NO moral ground to correct an injustice with another injustice.

  10. @Stier: A small synopsis…the Boks lost to Japan at the 2015 World Cup…there were smart asses who blamed poliical interference for the loss. The team that lost happened to have all of ONE black player in the team. All I am saying is as unjust as the quota system is, it is NOT to be blamed for a lot of things, including the player drain. Australia and NZ have no quota system and yet they have a player drain crisis as we do. But smart asses choose to make that a convenient excuse. I am not buying it.

    No politician does anything for the right reason. We are all mature enough to have figured that out. Much as we may disagree, doesn’t the fact that there is a Sports Department in every country tell us about the link between sport and politics? It sucks but hey there it is. Fight quotas, yes, but hell don’t go blaming quotas when we fail to acknowledge reasons for certain failures/weaknesses. To me, it becomes the same as a person who can’t control their hormones and goes and blames the woman with a short skirt for his rape.

    @BrotherBear: I am with you 100%. But then there is always that painful memory of the 2015 World Cup when Alberts was starting and Siya Kolisi was on the bench…then Alberts got injured…then a certain Pieter Steph du Toit, a lock mind you, came from outside the match 23, leapfrogged Kolisi and started at number 7. Then I ask myself…does fairness really exist in our rugby?

  11. @Playa: I agree with you politicians are looking after their own interest, but we shouldn’t support them in that? Should the IRB not try and prevent them from interfering? There is many reasons why players are leaving but whether you like it or not quotas is one of them as Habana has stated. Can you just answer this. Do you believe that quotas have never disenfranchised any athlete at any age in this country? We will be much better of to start developing our coaches and young talent in all regions than allowing politicians to interfere and force their politics onto our sport. I see our government has now lifted the ban on rugby? What has changed?

    It is very dangerous to comment on coaches thinking when it comes to team selections unless you have facts or info about that selection. Your frustration with that selection is exactly the frustration many people feel with the quota thing. The difference is because we have quotas, that gives people a reason to except a coaches bad choice or what they think to be a bad choice because they and he can blame quotas. Take quotas away and coaches will have to justify all selections on merit. Can you recall if HM has ever dropped Habana? Read Jake Whites book where he explained that Ashwin Willems was a must select player for him even if he wasn’t in best form.


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