NZ won’t change selection policy

Date published: April 23 2015

The New Zealand Rugby Union will not follow Australia's example by allowing players to move overseas and still represent their country.

That was the word from the NZRU's chief executive Steve Tew, who said although he wouldn't rule it out completely it was not going to happen in the near future.

"You never say never, but our policy is that to wear the All Black jersey you have to play your rugby in New Zealand," Tew told New Zealand's Radio Sport.

"We have treated some players I guess with a little bit of flexibility in terms of their return to the country when they've become eligible but the core policy is if you're not here you don't play for us and we think that's been a very important part of our player retention strategy and there's no immediate thought of changing that.

"Right now the player market is incredibly competitive – it's that time of the four-year cycle.

"We had quite a long discussion about it around the board table yesterday and we have no intentions of changing that policy but we're constantly reviewing what we're doing and if circumstances change we'd be foolish not to think about it but right now our policy is the policy and that's the end of it."

The Australian Rugby Union announced changes to their selection policy on Thursday. Those internationals with at least 60 caps and who have played a minimum of seven seasons in Australia are now eligible for selection regardless of where they currently play.