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Nation Eligibilty Catch-All Thread

Seriously? This is a matter of degree and not principle?
It certainly looks like the pot calling the bloody kettle black.

Calling Scotland embarrassing when all do the same (lesser degree, sure...)?
And how does this whole pride/embarrassment thing work, exactly? When Scotland does this, it's frowned upon. Gotcha.
But then we see Tuilagi say "heart and home is still Samoa" while representing England that's just astute from the RFU?
Mental stuff.

Bottom line is he's playing for England for the money, just as those in the list that play for Scotland. You wanna talk about pride and embarrassment? Start there.

Either it is right or wrong. Whether it's 1 or the entire squad is anecdotal at best.


This is a relevant and interesting question. We need to consider that the rules, whatever they might end up being, will have to be applied equally to ALL unions.
You get too strict with that and Samoa might have to field 14-year-olds because their best were developed elsewhere.

My take: it shouldn't, both for (my) moral and practical reasons. I'll skip you the moral shenanigans and address the practical stuff: if development is a criteria then rich countries have an even bigger pick of the lot at the expense of poorer nations/unions. That widens the already gargantuan gap between tier 1 and the rest.
Is that what you want? Try a veil of ignorance for a second and think about it.



I've mentioned it before but am still surprised when reminded. Ludicrous stuff.

Yes, it is about degree. When it is a few players, there may be genuine underlying reasons for the switch (national affiliation etc) rather than seeking a move for personal gain in your career. When it is the majority of the squad, the argument about genuine reasons for the switch such as national affiliation disappear. Instead we have a systematic system of nabbing players developed by others.

Not all are the same, I believe only Scotland and Wales have dedicated staff geared towards sifting through family trees and making contact with overseas players. I believe Scotland is the only union to have a dedicated age grade team (one only three at that age) based hundreds of miles from their border and exclusively filled with players with no residency status to do with Scotland. Why such hostility towards pointing out these irrefutable distinctions between the conduct of unions and drawing conclusions on the likely impact on domestic youth development in those countries?

Rugby is a sport of degrees. As I said in the refereeing thread, refs will let minor infractions go with a verbal warning but will issue penalties and cards where required. I think it is entirely sensible to apply the same logic to unions and applaud those investing in domestic development and the growth of rugby in their territory. Or do you consider every on field infraction should see the whistle blown (and if not, why not since you are man of principle?)

Maybe by space year 2070 Scotland too will be in that category, but for now we have the bizarre scene of a former England captain, who likely has never spent a consecutive week in Scotland before 2022, celebrating scoring a try against England. And we are meant to pass no comment on the transition of Scotsmen to ethnic minority status within the Scottish rugby squad? :p
 
Yes, it is about degree. When it is a few players, there may be genuine underlying reasons for the switch (national affiliation etc) rather than seeking a move for personal gain in your career. When it is the majority of the squad, the argument about genuine reasons for the switch such as national affiliation disappear. Instead we have a systematic system of nabbing players developed by others.

Not all are the same, I believe only Scotland and Wales have dedicated staff geared towards sifting through family trees and making contact with overseas players. I believe Scotland is the only union to have a dedicated age grade team (one only three at that age) based hundreds of miles from their border and exclusively filled with players with no residency status to do with Scotland. Why such hostility towards pointing out these irrefutable distinctions between the conduct of unions and drawing conclusions on the likely impact on domestic youth development in those countries?

Rugby is a sport of degrees. As I said in the refereeing thread, refs will let minor infractions go with a verbal warning but will issue penalties and cards where required. I think it is entirely sensible to apply the same logic to unions and applaud those investing in domestic development and the growth of rugby in their territory. Or do you consider every on field infraction should see the whistle blown (and if not, why not since you are man of principle?)

Maybe by space year 2070 Scotland too will be in that category, but for now we have the bizarre scene of a former England captain, who likely has never spent a consecutive week in Scotland before 2022, celebrating scoring a try against England. And we are meant to pass no comment on the transition of Scotsmen to ethnic minority status within the Scottish rugby squad? :p

Also keep in mind that it's the job of the HC (and ultimately the leadership within the SRU) to win as many games as possible (their jobs depend on it) and given that Scotland only have two pro clubs, the lowest number of registered players amongst the home nations, exiles who have to go and play for their clubs in England and France during the 6N on so called 'rest weekends' while other nations can rest their stars, why wouldn't they use the rules to their full advantage? There are plans afoot to add more clubs and improve grass roots development but these things take years. In the meantime, the HC has to use the tools at their disposal in order to maximise success - it should inspire more kids to take up the game. If people feel there should be limits then either the rules should change or agreements should be in place between nations. Blame the rules not the nation.

On Cam Redpath, my understanding is that he chose Scotland because in addition to his Dad, they made the effort to get him on board with Townsend and senior players like Hogg calling him up to tell him how well he'd fit into the group and how they see his international career developing etc. It makes me wonder if EJ was too passive and just didn't show the same hunger and desire to get him on board. Looks like Ben White has also slipped through the net and boy they could have used him yesterday. If I were an England fan I'd be wanting EJ and the RFU to get their fingers out and up their game rather than having a pop at other nations.
 
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Do you not take satisfaction in the Irish union increasingly developing sufficient domestic talent and depth domestically so that a squad of almost entirely born and bred Irishmen can beat the All Blacks and make grown Welshmen clamour for an intervention in the URC because the Irish are too damn good? I'd be loving my union if it was overseeing that sort of long term, well planned progress.

Would you really have no less satisfaction if more than half your side was developed in other countries, player numbers were declining domestically, your union effectively wilfully ignored player development in one or two of your provinces and to make up for inadequacies in developing talent instead increasingly incorporated younger and younger players from elsewhere in the British Isles into your age group sides (including an age group side based in another, hundreds of miles from your border). Because that is the Scottish experience.

I'm not baiting you as I know of other non-Scots, including some whose main focus is youth development, are also relaxed about Scotsmen becoming an ethnic minority in the Scottish rugby side (likely true with this squad if we could see their census returns, compared to 92% of Scottish residents who identify as White: Scottish). It's rare for me to even be able to comprehend the other side of a debate, but I'm failing on this one. Unless your position is that domestically produced players is more satisfying but you would just oppose any restrictions on selecting players produced in other territories?
Yeah I definitely do and I think it's why we're constantly closing the gap to the big four countries whereas Wales and Scotland tend to blow far more hot and cold. But equally I don't think Scotland and Wales currently have the resources or playing numbers to do what we do so they need to slowly become more successful, increase interest and capitalise on that. The way they're running their teams might just be the way forward to do that, maybe not though if it disillusions many.

I'll only ever act positively and welcoming to anyone who immigrated here or makes an effort to get back in touch with their roots, given the history of this island regarding emigration it'd be massively hypocritical and ignorant not to.
 
Yeah I definitely do and I think it's why we're constantly closing the gap to the big four countries whereas Wales and Scotland tend to blow far more hot and cold. But equally I don't think Scotland and Wales currently have the resources or playing numbers to do what we do so they need to slowly become more successful, increase interest and capitalise on that. The way they're running their teams might just be the way forward to do that, maybe not though if it disillusions many.

I'll only ever act positively and welcoming to anyone who immigrated here or makes an effort to get back in touch with their roots, given the history of this island regarding emigration it'd be massively hypocritical and ignorant not to.
Ireland does have the bigger player numbers but their academy pathway for younger players is amazing. Currently they are producing loads of young players that are able to step straight up to regional level and can preform at pro level.
Wales on the other hand, are not only struggling to produce talented players at u20s level (see Friday) but even the ones that are decent it seems a real struggle to get them playing at that pro level off the bat and usually take a few years. I can almost guarantee that if LRZ has stayed in Wales he still wouldn't be playing that much at regional level now.
It's been 10 years plus since I've been around youth rugby, when I was that age all the regional youth set ups was 'jobs for the boys'. Regional youth Coaches picking players from their own team, their friends children (even their own mediocre son) and from what I've heard it's still the same now.
 
Also keep in mind that it's the job of the HC (and ultimately the leadership within the SRU) to win as many games as possible (their jobs depend on it) and given that Scotland only have two pro clubs, the lowest number of registered players amongst the home nations, exiles who have to go and play for their clubs in England and France during the 6N on so called 'rest weekends' while other nations can rest their stars, why wouldn't they use the rules to their full advantage? There are plans afoot to add more clubs and improve grass roots development but these things take years. In the meantime, the HC has to use the tools at their disposal in order to maximise success - it should inspire more kids to take up the game. If people feel there should be limits then either the rules should change or agreements should be in place between nations. Blame the rules not the nation.

On Cam Redpath, my understanding is that he chose Scotland because in addition to his Dad, they made the effort to get him on board with Townsend and senior players like Hogg calling him up to tell him how well he'd fit into the group and how they see his international career developing etc. It makes me wonder if EJ was too passive and just didn't show the same hunger and desire to get him on board. Looks like Ben White has also slipped through the net and boy they could have used him yesterday. If I were an England fan I'd be wanting EJ and the RFU to get their fingers out and up their game rather than having a pop at other nations.
He scored a good try, but he couldn't get in he Tigers starting XV and he can't get in to London Irish's either … I'm quite comfortable with you having him.
 
England have Quirke and Randall going forward after youngs is not first choice anymore. I can see why Ben White took the Scotland choice when he could.

As for the eligibility, I think the 5 year residency has been a good step forward. I would take it further though and have it passport only, that's a big commitment for a person to take and shows they do have roots in their new country. Also get rid of the granny loophole, I think that's far too tenuous, I wouldn't mind a parent being born/lived in a country though.
 
Also keep in mind that it's the job of the HC (and ultimately the leadership within the SRU) to win as many games as possible (their jobs depend on it) and given that Scotland only have two pro clubs, the lowest number of registered players amongst the home nations, exiles who have to go and play for their clubs in England and France during the 6N on so called 'rest weekends' while other nations can rest their stars, why wouldn't they use the rules to their full advantage? There are plans afoot to add more clubs and improve grass roots development but these things take years. In the meantime, the HC has to use the tools at their disposal in order to maximise success - it should inspire more kids to take up the game. If people feel there should be limits then either the rules should change or agreements should be in place between nations. Blame the rules not the nation.

On Cam Redpath, my understanding is that he chose Scotland because in addition to his Dad, they made the effort to get him on board with Townsend and senior players like Hogg calling him up to tell him how well he'd fit into the group and how they see his international career developing etc. It makes me wonder if EJ was too passive and just didn't show the same hunger and desire to get him on board. Looks like Ben White has also slipped through the net and boy they could have used him yesterday. If I were an England fan I'd be wanting EJ and the RFU to get their fingers out and up their game rather than having a pop at other nations.

I blame the union, not the nation. Player numbers don't just appear in thin air, it is the governance of the union that is instrumental in dictating playing numbers and that is where is accuse the Scottish union of wilful negligence. I would wager player figures in Ireland and Scotland will have diverged massively over the past 20 years (in the favour of Ireland). If so, that would indicate the role of the union. If I'm wrong on that then my argument is significantly undermined.

Yes, the Super 6 is a very welcome development and a big investment in the right direction. And yes, the Scottish union is arguably one of the finest in the 6N at producing top level domestic coaching talent. So I'm not bashing them for bashing's sake and things may improve, but jeez it's hard for me to tolerate the present.
 
And another glimpse into the future of rugby. Russia is the nominated successor state to the USSR, so anyone with a grandparent born anywhere in the old USSR can play for Russia, including if you have caps and follow the 3 year stand down period.

 
And another glimpse into the future of rugby. Russia is the nominated successor state to the USSR, so anyone with a grandparent born anywhere in the old USSR can play for Russia, including if you have caps and follow the 3 year stand down period.


I'm waiting for a doping scandal from Russian rugby as well, they appear to professionally dope all their athletes to cheat at all sports.
 
I'm waiting for a doping scandal from Russian rugby as well, they appear to professionally dope all their athletes to cheat at all sports.
I was always suspicious of that Gary Kasparov :p

I doubt they dope more than the rest of the world for non-Olympic sports. There isn't enough money or prestige in rugby for Russia to be bothering with that I don't think.
 
I was always suspicious of that Gary Kasparov :p

I doubt they dope more than the rest of the world for non-Olympic sports. There isn't enough money or prestige in rugby for Russia to be bothering with that I don't think.
Probably the same amount as South African rugby to be fair. Probably mostly at youth stage.
 
Youth level rugby definitely has a doping problem all over, but SA does have a reputation for taking it further, and differently TBH (suspicion of HGH).
I have no idea how deserved that reputation may or may not be.
 
Youth level rugby definitely has a doping problem all over, but SA does have a reputation for taking it further, and differently TBH (suspicion of HGH).
I have no idea how deserved that reputation may or may not be.
I'm not a big fan of throwing stones, particularly as yesterday the UK got stripped of a summer Olympics medal due to an athlete being caught doping.

I used to give the Boks the benefit of the doubt. High protein diet and players often with an affluent upbringing and expert strength and conditioning work. But when you see guys with a very different genetic physiology like Mapimpi (brought up poor and came to the top level of the sport late) and guys like Willemse (was quite scrawny but seems to be bulking up to an extent I literally didn't recognise him the last time I saw him) it can make you pause for thought about what is going on. The fact there is some kind of testing regime in place that catches guys like Dyantyi helps keep my mouth shut on the topic more often than not.

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I'm not looking to make a big point here but a couple of things crossed my radar recently on the old eligibility front. Of the 30 man u20 squad for Scotland, 13 were based outside the country. Indicative of a system in real trouble I'd argue. Although I'm more optimistic that the Super 6 can be judged in 3 or 4 years time and may turn the ***anic away from the iceberg.


Also, I learnt that Italy have a self imposed rule where only 4 players qualified on residency are allowed in the senior squad, with only 3 on the park allowed at any one time. It'd be enlightened if nations implemented something similar for players raised by their own union (in my opinion).
 
The issue is that it's putting pressure on young players to make potentially career-defining decisions well before they should have to.

Redpath's development came from England, Sale and more recently Bath. I simply feel that England should benefit from that, or at least there should be a 'cooling off period' as @Reiser99 has suggested. As I said in an earlier post, I feel quite differently about players like Skinner or Rowlands.

Kelly is a bit different and more complex given his development was split between Sale, Leicester and the Ireland age grades. However, having been born and lived all of his life in England, I don't really think there's too much controversy around his 'switch'. Particularly given that maintaining his allegiance to Ireland would have eventually necessitated a move to one of the provinces. I also think he genuinely deserved to be in the summer squad, so unlike the Tshiunza situation where it is solely and unashamedly a 'capture' exercise.

I should stress this isn't to do with me wanting England to be protected. I would feel exactly the same discomfort had Redpath chosen England after being developed by Glasgow and Scotland. That extends to any nation in this scenario.

Going back to Tshiunza, I think he should play for Wales having been developed by them. I just disagree with the 'cap him quick' mentality.
With all due respect, you don't "know" this at all. You think this is what Pivac or whoever is unashamedly doing this but you don't know.

I'm not saying you're wrong and I'd concede there's maybe an element of that at play but then likewise, for all you know (and tbf Tshiunza has said himself I think there was no question what country he is going to play for) Tshiunza has told Pivac and co and all his family etc etc that it's only Wales he wants to play for and therefore we weren't worried

Pivac has even gone on record and said that the aim is to get him into the WC squad so there clearly a plan for him, that does not suggest "cap him quick mentality" coaches don't tend to think too long term anyway. We don't produce many athletes like him, he has high potential, he's Welsh and he plays in an area that clearly Pivac thinks we need someone like him coming through.

None of us know with any certainty though.
 
OK - that's fair enough. Neither of us actually 'know' the specifics of the actual situation.

I think it's entirely fair to say Tshiunza was not there on actual merit. I can just about buy that he was selected on potential.

The reason I suspect there was a capturing element to it is he fact that he actually did get capped last year when he was nowhere near ready or deserving of it.

Going back to my previous example of Redpath - he was called-up to England squads but wasn't capped/capture because at that time he wasn't ready to be a test player. England could have given him 5mins to cap(ture) him but chose not to. Again, I don't know the exact reasons, but I'd like to think he wasn't capped purely because it wasn't warranted.

As I said before, I think Tshiunza should play for Wales, I'm just a little dubious on the circumstances of why he was capped when he was.
 
OK - that's fair enough. Neither of us actually 'know' the specifics of the actual situation.

I think it's entirely fair to say Tshiunza was not there on actual merit. I can just about buy that he was selected on potential.

The reason I suspect there was a capturing element to it is he fact that he actually did get capped last year when he was nowhere near ready or deserving of it.

Going back to my previous example of Redpath - he was called-up to England squads but wasn't capped/capture because at that time he wasn't ready to be a test player. England could have given him 5mins to cap(ture) him but chose not to. Again, I don't know the exact reasons, but I'd like to think he wasn't capped purely because it wasn't warranted.

As I said before, I think Tshiunza should play for Wales, I'm just a little dubious on the circumstances of why he was capped when he was.
Yeah but sometimes, in fact you could say always as it's subjective, there will be players selcted not based on someone's perception of what merit is.

For totally different reasons obviously but I didn't think Cuthbert warranted a call up but he played well. I know from your point of view your metric of merit is perhaps a bit more objective as in x amount of caps for your club before you get a call up to your country but it doesn't always work out like that. I don't think Wainwright had played (think he only properly started playing rugby at something ridiculous like 17 or something) much pro rugby before Gatland called him up because he saw something special in him. Maybe it's just that simple with Tshiunza and Pivac.

In my opinion, the player that I think shows more of a cap quick mentality for us recently is this Roberts guy at Ulster. Even though we're weak at Hooker and and he's older and stuff but that one just kinda came out of nowhere and then he was playing for Wales. It still made sense to do it because as I say we need hookers but yeah, less sure on Roberts than I am with Tshiunza.
 
we'll trade AJ back to Ireland for the ability to claim any Leinster or Munster player who fails to make 5 appearances in a season for the next 25 years
 
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