Anyone struggling the understand the eligibility rules in Rugby League would be well advised to not read this article, because quite frankly, in outlining the official rules you are going to end up even more confused than you already are!
NRL.com.au posted an article regarding eligibility rules that heavily quoted ARL CEO Geoff Carr. You can read that article by clicking here.
Basically it is a set piece put out by the games administrators trying to clear up player eligibility, however in doing so they have just shown how stupid and ridiculous the current rules are.
Below is a part of the article that is mean to clear things up:
Under current international rules a player is eligible to play for the nation of his birth, that of his parents or grand parents or the nation in which he has resided for the last three years.
Where a player is eligible to play for two countries he will have to make an ‘election’ about which one he will represent – this will be deemed to have been made when he accepts a selection from that country.
As in all sports a player may change allegiances but under RLIF rules this cannot be done until two years after his last appearance for a national team or at the end of a World Cup period (in this case November 23 next year).
The RLIF does have the right to issue individual exceptions where there are compelling circumstances but these must be approved on a case by case basis.
So based on place of birth alone, a player could be eligible to play for 7 different countries straight off the bat if he, he parents and his grand parents were all born in different countries.
On top of that, if he lives anywhere at all for 3 years, he can play for that country too.
He has to stick with that country though and cant play for anyone else for two years, except after the World Cup, when he can switch again, or if the phantom organization that is the IRLF says he can switch before that time.
In short, the rules above are so numerous and have so many loop holes that you can play for just about anyone you want!
I personally qualify for 4 different countries, 2 of which I have never even been to!
So next year when you see players lining up for other nations and you hear someone try and tell you thats its ok because its all been done by the rules, stop them and set them straight.