Bad news for Ireland as World Rugby looks to turn off residency rule tap
The days of foreign milk and residency rule honey may be at an end.
World Rugby [the artistes formerly known as the IRB] are considering a change to the current residency rules that, many believe, are diluting national teams with foreign imports.
World Rugby chief executive Brett Gosper says the organisation may seek to change the current rules, which see players free to play for a country they have no affiliation to after playing in the country for three consecutive years.
In recent seasons, Ireland have capped the likes of Robbie Diack, Richardt Strauss [both South Africa], Tom Court [Australia], Jared Payne, Rodney Ah You, Isaac Boss, and Michael Bent [all New Zealand] in the Test arena.
Former South Africa Under-20 captain CJ Stander will become eligible in October of this year and has already nailed his colours to the Irish mast.
Gosper told Sydney Morning Herald, 'I think obviously there is a concentration of club wealth in the northern hemisphere, there's no question that the salaries are very high in France and in England and it's very tempting for players to ply their trade in the northern hemisphere.'
The residency rule survived, as is, recently after World Rugby vote.
However, Gosper added, 'That was about three or four years ago. I know that [World Rugby] president [Bernard] Lapasset has indicated that this may be something we need to look at again in the future, and look at whether the three-year residency is enough to ensure that integrity of the international game, so that may be something that may need to be looked at.'
One imagines that, even if there is a rule change, players seeking to qualify under the current three-year agreement - such as Stander - would be precluded.