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jenson

Union v League eligibility - an opportunity?

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Hotly debated on here already, but here’s a few digs and arguments from an author on the other side.

For mine, the rigid eligibility criteria the author discusses (play for one nation, you’re with them for life) smacks of head-in-the-sand given the quickly changing global citizenship dynamics.

If that attitude is widespread in union, that feels like an opportunity for league to get players over from fringe or heritage nations.

The RLWC started this conversation. Players are taking notice. Nations are paying attention. How can we, the thirteen code,  capitalise?

http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-union/rugby-must-stay-deaf-to-all-black-charles-piutaus-pleas-to-play-for-tonga-20171204-gzy5bp.html

 

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For mine:

- the correct links are residence (which we as a code seem very rarely to use), nationality or family ties, so I think we have the right rules:

- on an individual basis, I am all in favour of the flexibility we have at this stage of our development as a sport; but

- there has to be a recognition that we want local teams and local players, and thus we should revert to requiring a proper quota for locally produced players in squads; and 

- for Australia, any player eligible to play for Australia and any other team should be required to play for that other team. (This last is not a serious comment, by the way.)

Edited by Exiled Wiganer
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It's something which will be debated for some time yet, no doubt. It's certainly a good talking point. I was firmly in the union stance of eligibility but must admit I have softened somewhat after the WC.

Jenson - to get players over like Piutau (someone I'd never heard of), you need to find a club willing to take a punt paying him $2 million a year. Highly unlikely

EW - you can't tell players who are eligible for other nations, that they can't represent Australia, that's ridiculous (and illegal)

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I'm not keen on the rule that some RU countries (NZ and Wales, and maybe others) have about not selecting players who play in foreign club competitions. It seems like cutting your nose off to spite your face.

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19 minutes ago, DoubleD said:

It's something which will be debated for some time yet, no doubt. It's certainly a good talking point. I was firmly in the union stance of eligibility but must admit I have softened somewhat after the WC.

Jenson - to get players over like Piutau (someone I'd never heard of), you need to find a club willing to take a punt paying him $2 million a year. Highly unlikely

EW - you can't tell players who are eligible for other nations, that they can't represent Australia, that's ridiculous (and illegal)

It was a joke.

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13 minutes ago, Futtocks said:

I'm not keen on the rule that some RU countries (NZ and Wales, and maybe others) have about not selecting players who play in foreign club competitions. It seems like cutting your nose off to spite your face.

Think wales have recently changed there rule...Sumthing like now if you have 60+ caps you can play abroad and still get selected for the national team,if you havnt got 60+ caps you have to play for one of the welsh regions to be considerd for wales.

England do the same, if you dont play in the english premiership you dont get picked for england. They have an 'exeptional circumstances' rule,whereby they could select a foreign based player if they needed to, but theyv never used it and never likely to.

Its done to protect the quality of there domestic competions. The british and southern hemisphere clubs cant compete financialy with the french clubs,the best players from all over the world were heading there,this is the respective unions way to combat it.

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34 minutes ago, Futtocks said:

I'm not keen on the rule that some RU countries (NZ and Wales, and maybe others) have about not selecting players who play in foreign club competitions. It seems like cutting your nose off to spite your face.

Seems to be working out well for New Zealand. Fact of the matter is, Southern Hemisphere rugby union can't compete with money offered in Europe and Japan. With more relaxed rules, many more would be playing abroad therefore weakening the domestic scene. It's a perfectly justified requirement in my opinion

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1 hour ago, jenson said:

Hotly debated on here already, but here’s a few digs and arguments from an author on the other side.

For mine, the rigid eligibility criteria the author discusses (play for one nation, you’re with them for life) smacks of head-in-the-sand given the quickly changing global citizenship dynamics.

If that attitude is widespread in union, that feels like an opportunity for league to get players over from fringe or heritage nations.

The RLWC started this conversation. Players are taking notice. Nations are paying attention. How can we, the thirteen code,  capitalise?

http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-union/rugby-must-stay-deaf-to-all-black-charles-piutaus-pleas-to-play-for-tonga-20171204-gzy5bp.html

 

I'm sorry but players switching at the eleventh hour doesn't say much about the sport. I know of people who were turned off by that. Posters on here want these relaxed, and somewhat farcical, eligibility rules to remain and then complain when nobody in Australia turns up to watch international league. That aspect alone is one of the main reasons why many Australian rugby league fans don't tend to view international rugby league in high regard.

Yes I agree, it works for smaller countries and gets their fans interested but here is the main point to consider. Obscure sporting countries like Tonga, Lebanon etc. don't have much going for them in terms of international sporting success so they're going to get behind respective national teams regardless of heritage players therefore we could possible get away with current rules.

However, in established sporting countries where international representation is not a rare occurrence, current rules wouldn't do much to garner interest or inspire people to play. In fact, it would be to the detriment of the sport because they would see it as a joke if the majority of the squad weren't even born in their country no matter how successful the team may be. For instance, American baseball players playing for Australia wouldn't go down too well and any success would be seen as hollow and superficial

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1 hour ago, Futtocks said:

I'm not keen on the rule that some RU countries (NZ and Wales, and maybe others) have about not selecting players who play in foreign club competitions. It seems like cutting your nose off to spite your face.

Yeah I don't understand this rule. The strangest thing about it, IMO, is that the reason given in defence of it is that it preserves test RU as the pinnacle of the game. But all it does is it means teams go out with needlessly weakened teams. How does that help preserve the game?

Given the choice between representing your country and earning good money the players are always going to take the latter and it is naïve to expect otherwise.

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4 minutes ago, Bramstein said:

Yeah I don't understand this rule. The strangest thing about it, IMO, is that the reason given in defence of it is that it preserves test RU as the pinnacle of the game. But all it does is it means teams go out with needlessly weakened teams. How does that help preserve the game?

Given the choice between representing your country and earning good money the players are always going to take the latter and it is naïve to expect otherwise.

It's to keep the domestic scene strong, not preserve test union as the pinnacle. After all, the national team is often an indicator of the strength of the domestic league which holds true in many ways in regards to New Zealand

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6 minutes ago, Jace said:

It's to keep the domestic scene strong, not preserve test union as the pinnacle. After all, the national team is often an indicator of the strength of the domestic league which holds true in many ways in regards to New Zealand

What you've said makes sense but journos in Britain regularly say it's keep test RU as the pinnacle of the game. I have no idea if they're right, however.

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2 hours ago, Bramstein said:

What you've said makes sense but journos in Britain regularly say it's keep test RU as the pinnacle of the game. I have no idea if they're right, however.

Like jace says, its to protect the quality of there domestic competitions.

It does work to a large degree,most of the england squad could earn loads more by going to play in france,but anyone with a realistic chance of getting in the england squad regularly or in the near future, stay in the english premiership, because they want to play for england.

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15 hours ago, Jace said:

Posters on here want these relaxed, and somewhat farcical, eligibility rules to remain and then complain when nobody in Australia turns up to watch international league.

And yet, games involving teams with a lot of heritage players in the RLWC such as Tonga, and Samoa got some of the biggest and most vocal crowds.

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The underlying tone to the article emphasis the arrogance of the RU media and bodies. They ridicule our world cup and on the weekend a new zealander has his spikes on so he could sprint to the game when his paperwork was cleared in Wales. 

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I hate the chopping and changing. I understand why it happens but it's plain wrong. It also results in a silly situation where a side like Tonga could be 3rd best in the world this year, yet back to being an also ran next year.

 

If that bath player wants to play for Tonga RL, what is to stop him if he is good enough. Would his bath contact prevent him playing for Tonga RL? 

If the union situation is correct about only playing for England if you play in the English league I can only presume they make up the possible lower than France salary by getting large international appearance sums. Otherwise, surely we would have a bosman style ruling to allow the policy to be overturned. Didn't Johnny Wilkinson play for England whilst at Toulon?

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The main thing I’d change in our eligibility rules is to restrict heritage to parents rather than grandparents. It’s just too tenuous at the moment. I think countries like the Celtic nations and Italy would suffer the most, with the Pacific island nations probably being ok. Other than that I’d increase the period for residency as it’s still not quite long enough for mine. I’ve no big issue with being eligible for two countries, nor people playing for countries they weren’t born in - nationality is a very complex issue, and some of the ‘born in Britain only’ stuff on here makes me very uncomfortable. 

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22 hours ago, Exiled Wiganer said:

 

For mine:

- the correct links are residence (which we as a code seem very rarely to use), nationality or family ties, so I think we have the right rules:

- on an individual basis, I am all in favour of the flexibility we have at this stage of our development as a sport; but

- there has to be a recognition that we want local teams and local players, and thus we should revert to requiring a proper quota for locally produced players in squads; and 

- for Australia, any player eligible to play for Australia and any other team should be required to play for that other team. 

Really?
So Australia should discriminate them? 


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1 hour ago, Mushy said:

The main thing I’d change in our eligibility rules is to restrict heritage to parents rather than grandparents. It’s just too tenuous at the moment. I think countries like the Celtic nations and Italy would suffer the most, with the Pacific island nations probably being ok. Other than that I’d increase the period for residency as it’s still not quite long enough for mine. I’ve no big issue with being eligible for two countries, nor people playing for countries they weren’t born in - nationality is a very complex issue, and some of the ‘born in Britain only’ stuff on here makes me very uncomfortable. 

Why? 
I have met dozens of people who have an Italian grand-father/mother and I can assure you they were risen as Italians. 
Grand-parents are an important part of live and education and share several years living/attending/influencing a man/woman. 


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As it happens, while the context of this thread was a typically hypocritical moral high ground from the glass on the pitch lot, we hardly use the residence qualification as a sport compared with, say, cricket. I prefer blood lines to extended working holidays determining nationality. 

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11 minutes ago, Exiled Wiganer said:

As it happens, while the context of this thread was a typically hypocritical moral high ground from the glass on the pitch lot, we hardly use the residence qualification as a sport compared with, say, cricket. I prefer blood lines to extended working holidays determining nationality. 

We hardly use it because we've got only two professional leagues, in only 2 countries. 
While non England born players (being them chosen on residence, see Rangi Chase, or heritage, see Heighington) always creat debate and issues towards the English fans, so it's difficult to play anymore non England born player. 
Australia, they don't need to play players based on Australia residence. 
And that's why I see what you mean and agree with it. Every sports has its history and context and I'm ok with the Int eligibility system as it is right now. 
Would like one day to see non Canada born players being picked for Canada one day, as it'd mean ther had been a constant and serious professional scene/club(s) in the country. The same with other RL developing countries. 


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6 hours ago, B rad said:

And yet, games involving teams with a lot of heritage players in the RLWC such as Tonga, and Samoa got some of the biggest and most vocal crowds.

Please refer to the rest of the post to see why it works for the likes of Tonga and Samoa. And even if current eligibility rules increases interest amongst those nations, they offer little commercial opportunities for the sport.

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22 hours ago, Jace said:

I'm sorry but players switching at the eleventh hour doesn't say much about the sport. I know of people who were turned off by that. Posters on here want these relaxed, and somewhat farcical, eligibility rules to remain and then complain when nobody in Australia turns up to watch international league. That aspect alone is one of the main reasons why many Australian rugby league fans don't tend to view international rugby league in high regard.

Yes I agree, it works for smaller countries and gets their fans interested but here is the main point to consider. Obscure sporting countries like Tonga, Lebanon etc. don't have much going for them in terms of international sporting success so they're going to get behind respective national teams regardless of heritage players therefore we could possible get away with current rules.

However, in established sporting countries where international representation is not a rare occurrence, current rules wouldn't do much to garner interest or inspire people to play. In fact, it would be to the detriment of the sport because they would see it as a joke if the majority of the squad weren't even born in their country no matter how successful the team may be. For instance, American baseball players playing for Australia wouldn't go down too well and any success would be seen as hollow and superficial

Oh I'm sure thousands of people would have come to see 60-0 scores. 
You seem to forget/ignore that Lebanon etc. actually have played test football with domestic players, too, last years. 


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4 hours ago, MatthewWoody said:

Why? 
I have met dozens of people who have an Italian grand-father/mother and I can assure you they were risen as Italians. 
Grand-parents are an important part of live and education and share several years living/attending/influencing a man/woman. 

My experience is quite different, with most acknowledging a connection via their heritage but actually being brought up with the nationality of their birth and residence as opposed to even that of their parents. 

The key is that you have to draw the line somewhere. Scotland for a recent commonwealth games had eligibility that recognised residency and birth but didn’t even allow children of born and bred Scottish to represent them - that was a step too far for. But the grandparent rule without any other qualification opens the door to far too many people who don’t necessarily describe themselves as being from a country, and in almost every case they’d declare themselves as having a different nationality first. 

But for all the debate about League’s eligibility rules I would say that we are fortunately a long way off other sports who will actually recruit players from other countries into their national team (even from another sport) without breaking the letter of the law. That for me is way more laughable than any of the condescension League experiences because of our use of heritage players. 

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Do you reckon we would have had a terrible and not watchable World Cup without all these grand-children of Australian/English/Kiwis grand-parents? 
 


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