Planet Rugby

Loose Pass

29th October 2012 11:30

Share:

travel passport for loose pass

Pick a country, any country!

This week we will mostly be concerning ourselves with the three-year rule, the need for a single global disciplinary body and the coming around of the gone around...

We are not entirely sure what has suddenly brought the issue to prominence as it's been a bugbear for some for yonks, but the issue of the three-year residency rule now needs to be looked at as a matter of urgency.

England's call-up of Mako Vunipola appears to have finally cracked the ring-pull on the can of worms, but there have been disgruntled utterings for donkey's years about New Zealand's tribal gathering, as well as Australia's.

The English would appear to have been the most brazen about it all, should the accusations levelled at them by Fiji coach Inoke Mali prove to be founded. The French are supposedly not far behind.

Most disturbing is the accusation that the unions and clubs are luring teenagers across the globe to their academies accusations levelled at them by Fiji coach Inoke Mali; and with the networks among the ranks of the pros, not to mention the money available, growing by the day, the whole process is not going to stop unless better regulated.

But the question always to be asked is not if the three-year rule could be altered to protect the interests of tier two - we know the answer to that one and always have - but how.

Well, we certainly think you could change the rule to only permit people allowed passports of their adopted country to play for that country. That way you stop people heading over in their early twenties - such as Mouritz Botha - and using up the spots in a national squad to which they simply have no right to, spots for which born citizens would give their eye teeth to be filling.

However, it would also allow the flexibility for someone like Toby Faletau, who has been in Wales since the age of seven and is now naturalised, to play for the country he has grown up in. Obviously there's a conflict of interest for people born in a country but who have never lived there, but maybe here you could invoke a three-year residency clause?

That's one suggestion. We are sure there are others. But one thing's for sure, when you have - as Male claims - people born to parents of country A, in country A, and growing up in country A all with realisable ambitions of playing for country B, you have a system which is doing nothing whatsoever to protect the interests of the smaller nations who work hard to.

You also have national identities for sale, naive teenagers being whisked across the world to a future far from certain and places in a national squad at the very highest level up for sale rather than for privilege. We don't think that is what international rugby should be all about...


Both Andy Hazell and Sisa Koyamaibole are going to be weighing up their actions this week after copping 14 and 12-week bans respectively for their transgressions in the Amlin Challenge Cup.

But it's barely imaginable that biting is given a lesser punishment than Hazell's furious assault on a Mont-de-Marsan player. Hazell lost control for sure, but biting someone is just savagery - surely given the dangers involved in a human bite, that's is almost as serious as gouging?

The disciplinary inconsistency problem is not going to go away until someone wakes up and realises that there needs to be some form of single independent body examining these cases globally. Admittedly, there would be logistical problems in getting players to hearings, but these are also the days of Skype and a myriad of other media creating conference calls.

In one fell swoop you rid the disciplinary verdicts of the obvious manoeuvres which frequently contrive to allow miscreants to be available for all their important games, you also let players know a precise and consistent precedent, something currently glaringly absent from the system...


It was amusing listening to the wailing from Premier Rugby Chief Mark McCafferty this week as he twigged that there had been a meeting of the nations and clubs involved in the ERC restructuring wrangle without his presence.

"It was a flawed attempt to divide and rule and it failed," said McCafferty.

And your television deal for a tournament not sanctioned by anyone present at this offensive secret meeting you are so upset about was what, precisely?

Loose pass compiled by Richard Anderson

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne vs Montpellier20:45
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle vs Toulouse14:45
Lyon vs Brive18:30
Oyonnax vs Stade Francais18:30
Castres vs Bay Of Plenty18:30
Grenoble vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulon20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , August 29
Pumas vs Sharks19:10
Saturday , August 30
Griquas vs Cheetahs15:00
Blue Bulls vs Western Province17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury vs NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Preview
Friday , August 29
Wellington vs ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Preview
Saturday , August 30
Counties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay14:35
Southland vs Otago17:35
North Harbour vs Waikato19:35
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Auckland vs Tasman16:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Stade Francais 23 - 20 Lyon
Bordeaux-Begles 30 - 21 Racing Metro Paris
Montpellier 20 - 17 GrenobleMontpellier vs Grenoble Report
Toulon 60 - 19 La Rochelle
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Blue Bulls 30 - 25 Eastern Province KingsBlue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Sharks 19 - 16 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
Western Province 27 - 14 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Northland 35 - 5 WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Report
Counties Manukau 29 - 25 OtagoCounties Manukau vs Otago Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse 35 - 6 CastresToulouse vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 33 - 15 GriquasPumas vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 27 - 58 CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Report
Hawkes Bay 29 - 26 TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Report
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 16
Australia 12 - 12 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
South Africa 13 - 6 ArgentinaSouth Africa vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00