Forgot Password

 

Register

 

Create your Connect ID

This will allow you to login to all DStv websites & applications




or
Login using
x

Email Reset

 




Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Rugby | International Rugby

IRB vows action over player release breaches



The head of world rugby on Thursday vowed a "strict application" of the rules on releasing players for international duty, amid claims that three Fijians were barred by their clubs from the 2011 World Cup.

The chairman of the International Rugby Board (IRB), Bernard Lapasset, said the main northern hemisphere federations were due to meet this month and they would get to the bottom of the issue.

"We'll see if we have to change the rule. If we have to start investigations, we'll do so. It'll be with complete transparency and in the strict application of the rules," he said at the national centre for French rugby in Marcoussis, near Paris.

Rugby's financially poorer countries, particularly the Pacific Islands, have long alleged that they face economic "blackmail" by wealthy clubs in the sport's more established nations.

Under IRB rules, clubs must release players at times designated for full internationals, such as the upcoming November international "window", and for major tournaments including the World Cup.

But clubs have tried to get round this by agreeing clauses in contracts with players from cash-strapped Pacific Island nations, who then make themselves unavailable for test duty, as happened at last year's World Cup in New Zealand.

The former backs coach of French Top 14 side Racing-Metro, New Zealander Simon Mannix, on Wednesday claimed in British newspaper The Independent that his former club had paid three Fijians not to take part in the 2011 World Cup.

Racing has not responded to AFP about the allegations but denied the accusations in the daily.

IRB regulation nine forbids clubs from offering disincentives, either through "contract or conduct", to players to represent their country but critics maintain that officials have not done enough to enforce the rule.

The IRB said in a statement from its Dublin headquarters on Wednesday that it would act on breaches of the regulation, calling player release "central to the integrity and economic sustainability of the international game".

"The regulation is designed to deliver a fair, equitable and proportionate framework for facilitating the release of the world's best players for international duty within designated windows without impediment irrespective of country of employment," it added, warning it took any breach "very seriously".

"Unions also have a clear obligation to do everything possible to uphold the regulation within their territory or they risk significant sanctions," the statement concluded.

Lapasset said on Thursday that those sanctions "could go all the way to expulsion" but that it was unfair to single out French clubs when the rumours of the practice had been around for a number of years and at previous World Cups.

"The rule provides for the release of players for competitions strictly organised in a calendar. We strive to compose a playing calendar which works despite the odd doubling up of competitions here and there," he added.

"In France, there's a club competition at the same time as international competitions. We try our best to have the best players against the best players, the best teams against the best teams".

Shop

SA rugby Annual 2014
The 2014 SA Rugby Annual is the official record of the South African season and is widely considered to be one of the finest yearbooks in world rugby
R175.00
Victor - My Journey
As the most capped Springbok ever, Victor Matfield is a national hero who transcends rugby provincialism and has fans across the world
R198.44
The Poisoned Chalice
The Springboks have had several post-isolation coaches, and if they agree on nothing else, they will concur that everyone in the job suffers enormous pressure
R157.00
Coach - Marco Botha
At 34, Heyneke Meyer was fired as head coach of a Super Rugby team for the second time
R110.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Live Video Streaming

Pltv: Fan Zone - Friday 29 August
Thu, 28 Aug @ 05:00
Fri, 29 Aug @ 17:00
Fri, 29 Aug @ 19:00

Sports Talk



Brenden Nel
Perspective, a Bok fan's unwanted friend
For all the howls of anger that have come after the Salta great escape by the Boks, perhaps it is...

Brendan Venter
The measure of a man
For all the criticism I levelled against Argentina for their negative play in the Loftus Versfeld...

Tony Johnson
Finally we get some perspective
Not until we get into the next group of games will we have some perspective and context in which to...

Gavin Rich
Selection continuity may be Bok problem
I have subscribed to the assumption that the Springboks are benefitted playing the Pumas at the...