Malakai Fekitoa and 5 players who could swap countries for the 2023 World Cup - Ruck

Malakai Fekitoa and 5 players who could swap countries for the 2023 World Cup

Former All Black star Malakai Fekitoa will captain Tonga at this weekend’s Final Olympic Rugby Sevens Qualifier in Monaco.

Fekitoa is one of three players switching their international allegiance to Tonga, alongside former Wallabies forward Lopeti Timani and ex Australian sevens international Afusipa Taumoepeau.

Players are eligible to represent a second country in an Olympic qualifying event after they have already played for another nation provided they hold a passport for their second country and have stood down from international rugby for three years.

Should he play in at least 50 percent of Tonga’s matches at the Olympic qualification event, Fekitoa will then become eligible to play test rugby for the ‘Ikale Tahi.

Meanwhile, World Rugby President Bill Beaumont is set to review of Regulation 8 which covers eligibility to play for national teams “to see how we can support the longevity of players’ international careers”.

This could lead to more players swapping nations with a number of players already declaring an interest.

5 players who want to swap nations for 2023 World Cup

1. Taqele Naiyaravoro (Australia to FIji)

In an interview with the Daily Mail’s Nik Simon, the Northampton Saints winger international winger said he would ‘100 perc cent’ play for Fiji.

I’m 28 and I’ve still got the best years ahead of me, so the opportunity to play for Fiji would be a dream come true,’ he told Sportsmail.

‘I have no regrets about playing for Australia. I was pretty young at the time when the opportunity came along and I went for it.

‘But Fiji has always been in my heart. It’s where I was born. When I left Fiji for Australia, my dream was to play for Fiji. I would 100 per cent commit to Fiji if that opportunity came along.’


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