On the back of news that Australian selectors enquired about the Australian eligibility of Parramatta Eels forward Fui Fui Moi Moi comes word that St Helens Samoa-born forward Maurie Fa’asavalu has put his hand up to play for Great Britain.
Now I could could on about the squad stacking that the ARL, NZRL and RFL all take part in, but this is simply a problem with the eligibility rules that allows this to happen.
With the ridiculous residency rule, you just have to live in a country for 3 years and you are then eligable to play for that country.
This about some of the stupid selections you could make under this rule….
Sonny Bill Williams could be selected by Australia. Stacey Jones could play in next years World Cup for France. Bryan Fletcher can play for Great Britain and Steve Price could line up for New Zealand in next years World Cup.
Its bad enough that the NZRL feel that anyone from the south pacific can play for them, or that the ARL throws up a player every few years they seemingly want to select just to stop New Zealand from selecting him, but the fact that these days you just have to live a few years in a country to be able to play for them makes a complete joke of the international game.
Now I dont care what other sports do, its up to Rugby League to look after itself.
Rugby Leagues international credibility didnt fall away to non existance because of big scorelines or easy wins. It fell away when eligibility become a farce and any player could play for any country.
As Ive said before, I am eligable for four different countries, two or which I have enver been to! This should how ridiculous the current rules are.
I beleive to play for a country there should be one easy to follow rule.
You should be a natrualized citizen of the country you want to play for.
I would have no problem if a player wanted to play for a different country to their birth so much that they went on to become a natrulized citizen. In fact I think it would be a great move for the game to know that everyone that runs out for a nation is a citizen of that nation.
It would make Rugby League a world leader in international competition.