Rugby Union is set for some radical changes as we head into 2022.
Inspired by an article from Wales Online, we look into four major possible changes to the beautiful game.
World Rugby has relaxed its eligibility rules to allow national team players to switch countries from January 2022.
Under the current regulations, a player is unable to switch national team once they have won a senior cap – and are thereafter tied to that country.
However, under the new rule change passed on Wednesday by more than 75% of the World Rugby council votes, international players such as England’s Billy and Mako Vunipola could represent Tonga, as could New Zealand’s Charles Piutau, who won the last of his 17 caps for the All Blacks in 2015, making him eligible to switch allegiance next year.
This also means that there is a possibility that in the 2022 Six Nations a player may represent a second country in the tournament.
From 1 January 2022, in order to transfer from one union to another under the revised regulation 8 (eligibility), a player will need to achieve the below criteria:
- The player must stand-down from international rugby for 36 months
- The player must either be born in the country to which they wish to transfer or have a parent or grandparent born in that country
- Under the revised regulation 8 criteria, a player may only change union once and each case will be subject to approval by the World Rugby Regulations Committee to preserve integrity