Pichot on residency: ‘We need to change it’

Date published: May 12 2016

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New World Rugby vice-chairman Agustín Pichot has called for the existing three-year residency rule to be changed.

Pichot was unveiled along with new World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont at a press conference in Dublin on Wednesday.

His new high-ranking role within in the organisation doesn't seem to mean that Pichot is going to bite his tongue when it comes to addressing the game's major issues.

Pichot addressed the impact of players qualifying for Tier One nations through residency and the damage the system was having on those Tier Two sides trying to breakthrough into the top level of the sport.

How soon any change might actually happen is another matter, but Pichot's passion regarding the issue can't be ignored.

"Somebody will kill me but we need to change it," Pichot said.

“I think it is wrong. It should be for life, like in football. I would understand a five-year [qualification period] and I think that will be on the agenda in the next six months.

“I think it is very important to keep the identity of our national teams. As a cultural thing, as an inspiration to new kids, I think having on your team players who have not lived [for long] in the country they are [representing] I think it’s not right.

“There are special cases where players moved when they were ten or twelve years old but just moving to a country, being taken from an Academy, like they are doing in Tonga, and put into play, say, in an Ireland shirt, I’m against it. I think it is not right.

“I would love him to play in Tonga and make money playing for Tonga and live well.

“When I see the national anthem and people not singing it, it confuses me a little bit. I don’t see in the near future Argentina having players from other countries.”

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