RFU looking to change residency rule

RFU keen to change residency rule

  • The Rugby Football Union (RFU) may impose a five-year residency rule on England
  • A player currently becomes eligible when they have lived in a country for three years
  • Vice-chairman Agustin Pichot is seeking to raise the level by a further 24 months
The Rugby Football Union (RFU) may impose a five-year residency rule on England if World Rugby doesn’t change its current three-year rule.

World Rugby vice chairman Agustin Pichot is eager to add another 24 months to the rule, with RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie in agreement.


RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie says it is “absolutely the route to go down”.

Current international Nathan Hughes is one of a few current members of Eddie Jones’ squad who qualified on the current three-year system.

Ritchie added: “In an ideal world there would be universality of regulation and there’s a helpful way of dealing with this, and that’s by moving the World Rugby regulation from three to five years.”

An extension to the requirement would mean Auckland-born Denny Solomona would have to wait significantly longer to qualify for England, whereas under the current laws Sale’s former rugby league winger becomes available in August.

The sport’s global governing body will vote on whether to change the rule at its council meeting in May.

England are preparing for their Six Nations opener against France, who recently said they’ll only pick players who hold a French passport.


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