Tier 2 & 3 Rugby Forum

Union-led poaching

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Re: Union-led poaching

Postby AUCKLANDREUNION » Sun, 25 May 2014, 08:45

Ned yes I see what you are saying, however you appear to be overlooking the fact that the player might have been put through age group and acadamies, and although he didnt make the ABs or the Boks, he took up a place in those acadamies that could have gone to another player who with the same opportunity, may have made it for New Zealand or South Africa.

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Re: Union-led poaching

Postby Suavai » Sun, 25 May 2014, 11:04

Its a disgrace, As an irish fan would you want Aki playing for ireland? after only spending 3 years in the country as the only link he has had with ireland?

I can understand the NZ born Samoans Holding out for the ABs even the Samoans who entered NZ as children but to now have them choosing other National teams to play for and not having any links to that nation besides 3 years living there signing on for one of their clubs? And thats it?

Why is the residency period so short 3 years but the time to qualify for another nation so long in comparison?

But is this what we want rugby to turn into? More of these players with little links playing international rugby for teams they never supported growing up?

Why does the IRU even have to do this? Don't they have close to the same playing numbers of NZ and more $ and they are now current 6 nations champs.

Not sure I would want Aki to turn out for Samoa after what he said.

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Re: Union-led poaching

Postby ormond lad » Sun, 25 May 2014, 12:54

Beeman wrote:
ormond lad wrote:This isn't a joke. IRFU policy wants national team success over provincial success and limits the number of non Irish players capable of playing for provinces. Some can be "project players" who after the 3 years qualify. All countries do this. Money isn't a sole factor in most players moving. How can you say whether any of these players have no loyalty to Ireland(why is it always the Irish you get attacked/blame??) or Scotland or England or any other country.
What changes would you make to eligibility rules if you have such a issue with existing regulations?

Oh do tell then. Who is the project player in the Argentina squad? Or France's, Russia's, Georgia's, South Africa's, Samoa's, Canada's, England's etc ...

Well done on finally admitting project players cynically signed by Unions exist by the way. :thumbup:
Project players are simply players who qualify by residency. There is plenty in all countries squads who qualify by residency like the beast for SA etc. Irish just limit the numbers of non irish qualified players with their provinces so project players when signed get more attention than elsewhere

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Re: Union-led poaching

Postby sk 88 » Sun, 25 May 2014, 13:33

YamahaKiwi wrote:I agree about the different eligibility for tier 2-3 unions. I've held that view for a long time. There's so many challenges those unions face compared to tier 1 unions that I think this is one area the sport can give them a leg-up in to help.


Practically though you face a few problems.

1) Where is the line and what happens when you cross the line?

I'd imagine Italy + Scotland would be included in any tighter qualifications, but would Georgia/Romania/Canada/Fiji? Would Samoa? And what happens if Romania starts to get back to its peak results but uses a handfull of naturalised players? Do they then have to drop them?

2) Do we really want an un-level playing field? We've seen in Europe club rugby that concessions granted unthinkingly to then minor nations become big problems when they sort themselves out and become a top dog.

3) Publicly marking a nation as "substandard" and not fit to play by our rules is not a good thing even if well intentioned. How would the RWC work? Or if the barrier is lower qualification?

One game, one set of rules.

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Re: Union-led poaching

Postby 4N » Sun, 25 May 2014, 13:58

ormond lad wrote:There is plenty in all countries squads who qualify by residency like the beast for SA etc. Irish just limit the numbers of non irish qualified players with their provinces so project players when signed get more attention than elsewhere


Nope.

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Re: Union-led poaching

Postby ormond lad » Sun, 25 May 2014, 14:19

4N wrote:
ormond lad wrote:There is plenty in all countries squads who qualify by residency like the beast for SA etc. Irish just limit the numbers of non irish qualified players with their provinces so project players when signed get more attention than elsewhere


Nope.
Nope what exactly?? Irish limit the number of players who cant play or qualify for national side through residency
There will always be players who change allegiance to play for another country. Irish seem to get more attention for it here but all nations do it

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Re: Union-led poaching

Postby Beeman » Sun, 25 May 2014, 14:34

ormond lad wrote:Project players are simply players who qualify by residency.

Nope.

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Re: Union-led poaching

Postby Suavai » Sun, 25 May 2014, 14:42

Beeman wrote:
ormond lad wrote:Project players are simply players who qualify by residency.

Nope.


yeah not initially right? When they first go over they still need to do their 3 years?

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Re: Union-led poaching

Postby Sables4EVA » Sun, 25 May 2014, 14:55

Project players are players specifically contracted by national unions and then assigned to clubs that said union controls, as the IRFU controls the 4 teams in the Rabo and the SRU controls the 2 teams. These players are specifically picked and paid to see out their residency and then selected for the national team.

It does not work in England or Wales because the clubs are their own entities and do not answer to the RFU or WRU concerning the player roster.

It does not always work, case in point being Andrew Rose from Zimbabwe who was overlooked for a genuine Scotsman and because of the outcry fro the Scottish public over the amount of foreigners in the side (the Scots are very proudly nationalistic).

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Re: Union-led poaching

Postby YamahaKiwi » Sun, 25 May 2014, 22:05

Thank you Sables. Well put, making you about the fourth person to try and explain to Ormond Lad what the difference is between what's happened in other countries and what's happening in both Ireland & Scotland.

Ormond Lad. Beast goes to South Africa to play, and maybe get a top level contract=NOT pre-planned for making the national team. Aki goes to Ireland. National team play already part of the plan=pre-planned. ie different...ergo why everyone else is upset by what Ireland & Scotland are doing. Ireland is probably getting more grief because the players it's targetted are more high profile. Sorry, but I have to say that from my point of view, and from what everyone else is saying, you're in deep denial about what the IRFU is engaging in, as compared to other unions.

And a warning to you. I have deleted the second part of an comment which was personal abuse against another poster on this site since you were unwilling to do so yourself which is disappointing in itself. Further offensive comment will bring further action from the site mods. Keep it clean and play the ball, not the man.

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Re: Union-led poaching

Postby YamahaKiwi » Sun, 25 May 2014, 22:25

sk 88 wrote:
YamahaKiwi wrote:I agree about the different eligibility for tier 2-3 unions. I've held that view for a long time. There's so many challenges those unions face compared to tier 1 unions that I think this is one area the sport can give them a leg-up in to help.


Practically though you face a few problems.

1) Where is the line and what happens when you cross the line?

I'd imagine Italy + Scotland would be included in any tighter qualifications, but would Georgia/Romania/Canada/Fiji? Would Samoa? And what happens if Romania starts to get back to its peak results but uses a handfull of naturalised players? Do they then have to drop them?

2) Do we really want an un-level playing field? We've seen in Europe club rugby that concessions granted unthinkingly to then minor nations become big problems when they sort themselves out and become a top dog.

3) Publicly marking a nation as "substandard" and not fit to play by our rules is not a good thing even if well intentioned. How would the RWC work? Or if the barrier is lower qualification?

One game, one set of rules.


Well yes of course there'd have to be deep discussion over the T&Cs of implementing such a policy and your first point is the most important one.

Yes, as tier 1 nations I'd definitely include Italy & Scotland and under my thinking they would have say a five year residency rule, could only use a player from outside their country on descent rules if that player had a parent from the other country and couldn't use players who'd already played for another national team (current rule).

Romania, Georgia and all the other countries outside tier 1 would have more relaxed rules, say three year residency, could use players who'd played for other national teams, that were eligible because they had originally come from that country themselves (eg Tim Visser playing for the Netherlands) or by descent with grandparent link to other country. When tier 2 countries become sufficiently good enough that they are consistently beating a number of tier one countries so that their tier status is upgraded, then as a tier one country they would come under the tighter rules. Any foreign residency players already playing for the team would still be eligible but no new foreign players would be unless under the tier one rules.

Umm, it's already an un-level playing field, against anyone outside of tier one status. Again, already through the way they've been treated by tier one unions traditionally, the whole message already is that iff you're not in the tier one clique, you're substandard so no difference there from what is already the case.

The new rules could be reviewed say after ten years and any amendments made. There's no reason why having made a rule, we have to stick to it for 100 years.

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Re: Union-led poaching

Postby dropkick » Sun, 25 May 2014, 23:27

YamahaKiwi wrote:Thank you Sables. Well put, making you about the fourth person to try and explain to Ormond Lad what the difference is between what's happened in other countries and what's happening in both Ireland & Scotland.

Ormond Lad. Beast goes to South Africa to play, and maybe get a top level contract=NOT pre-planned for making the national team. Aki goes to Ireland. National team play already part of the plan=pre-planned. ie different...ergo why everyone else is upset by what Ireland & Scotland are doing. Ireland is probably getting more grief because the players it's targetted are more high profile. Sorry, but I have to say that from my point of view, and from what everyone else is saying, you're in deep denial about what the IRFU is engaging in, as compared to other unions.

And a warning to you. I have deleted the second part of an comment which was personal abuse against another poster on this site since you were unwilling to do so yourself which is disappointing in itself. Further offensive comment will bring further action from the site mods. Keep it clean and play the ball, not the man.



Sables is wrong. The Irish provinces are their own entities too when it comes to signing players. The signing of Aki was by Pat Lam, ex Samoan player! The only signings the IRFU make directly are those on central contracts which are Ireland internationals. Most foreign players in Ireland havnt a hope of playing for Ireland.

Anothger thing people dont know is the IRFU are trying hard to limit the number of foreign players in Ireland! They want more Irish players playing while the provinces want more options to sign foreigners. They've recently announced the signing of David Nucifora to help bring through more Irish players.

The IRFU don't sign players but like the RFU and every other union, they'll take what they can get. I'm 100% against the 3 year residency rule. I think it should be like soccer - much stricter.

Also the IRFU have not put a gun to anyone's head. All players are free to leave when their contract runs out. Bundee Aki can go play for whoever he wants. If he is successful in Ireland he might decide to go to France.

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Re: Union-led poaching

Postby YamahaKiwi » Sun, 25 May 2014, 23:51

Wrong. sables is right. Even if the IRFU might not contract the players themselves, they set the rules and the rule is you have to be Irish eligible. Players going to France or England don't come under the same direction from the FFR or the RFU when selecting foreign players. ie They are welcome to play for Samoa, or the US, or Argentina etc. That is NOT the case for players going to Ireland. They are locked in to being available for only Ireland for the duration of their contract there. that makes them PROJECT players. Whereas say Thomas Waldrom went to Leicester who would still contract him english-qualified or not, and it just so happened that after playing there he came to the attention of the national selectors and was chosen. Now it turned out that he qualified under the grandparent rule but it says something that he wasn't even aware of that when he went to England so he obviously hadn't gone there on the pretence of playing for the England team. Hence he was NOT a project player in the same way Aki is. Myself, and everyone else keeps on making that point to you and Ormond Lad and you guys keep on ignoring it.

At least I think we all agree the residency rule is in need of a change. If Bundee Aki was to go for 5-6 years and make a committment for that long I don't think this issue would be as big as it is. It's a great pity CEO Brett Gosper has already ruled that out before even allowing at least an IRB discussion on it. That's the kind of narrow-minded thinking I just hate to see in the leadership of sports or political organisations etc. C'mon Brett, at least discuss the idea!

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Re: Union-led poaching

Postby Beeman » Mon, 26 May 2014, 00:07

dropkick wrote:Sables is wrong. The Irish provinces are their own entities too when it comes to signing players. The signing of Aki was by Pat Lam, ex Samoan player! The only signings the IRFU make directly are those on central contracts which are Ireland internationals. Most foreign players in Ireland havnt a hope of playing for Ireland.

Anothger thing people dont know is the IRFU are trying hard to limit the number of foreign players in Ireland! They want more Irish players playing while the provinces want more options to sign foreigners. They've recently announced the signing of David Nucifora to help bring through more Irish players.

The IRFU don't sign players but like the RFU and every other union, they'll take what they can get. I'm 100% against the 3 year residency rule. I think it should be like soccer - much stricter.

Also the IRFU have not put a gun to anyone's head. All players are free to leave when their contract runs out. Bundee Aki can go play for whoever he wants. If he is successful in Ireland he might decide to go to France.

"Own entities when it comes to signing players" who also happen to be controlled by the IRFU and must have IRFU approval for every signing (they have even been known to shuffle players around the provinces at their will). IRFU employees scouting potential project player talent on behalf of their employers would a better way of putting it.

Comparison with the RFU is grossly erroneous as well. Premiership teams don't need RFU approval. Nathan Hughes although touted as a possibility for England is completely free to play for Fiji if selected. Bundee Aki signs on a project player premise and contractually can't play for Samoa.
Last edited by Beeman on Sat, 07 Jun 2014, 20:14, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Union-led poaching

Postby AUCKLANDREUNION » Mon, 26 May 2014, 00:10

Dropkick is correct to say that the Irish franchises are separate contracting entities, however he is leaving a little point out of discussion.

If a New Zealander (probably applies to all foreigners) wants a contract with an Irish franchise. for arguements sake Bundee Aki wants to playt for Pat Lam at Connacht, then they are the contracting parties, however since bundee Aki doesnt qualify to play for Ireland through parents/grandparents, he has to have a clause in his contract that requries that before the contract proceeds the contract has to be approved by the IRFU.

Hence we get all these kiwis and Polynesians saying at the time of signing how they would love to play for Ireland, I am not aware of the IRFU not giving approval in the instances when this happens.

I know in a case of a young Auckland player, Troy Nathan who played for Connacht a few years back, didnt have to have the approval clause in his contract because his mother is Irish.

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Re: Union-led poaching

Postby YamahaKiwi » Mon, 26 May 2014, 00:13

beeman, again you stray over the line with your last comment. other posters are able to disagree without adding insult. You've already been suspended once for inappropriate comments. DON'T go over the line again. I request you delete that last sentence or I will. I have already taken action once on this thread. I repeat, keep it civil otherwise that'll be the end of the thread.

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Re: Union-led poaching

Postby Beeman » Mon, 26 May 2014, 00:33

AUCKLANDREUNION wrote:Dropkick is correct to say that the Irish franchises are separate contracting entities, however he is leaving a little point out of discussion.

If a New Zealander (probably applies to all foreigners) wants a contract with an Irish franchise. for arguements sake Bundee Aki wants to playt for Pat Lam at Connacht, then they are the contracting parties, however since bundee Aki doesnt qualify to play for Ireland through parents/grandparents, he has to have a clause in his contract that requries that before the contract proceeds the contract has to be approved by the IRFU.

Hence we get all these kiwis and Polynesians saying at the time of signing how they would love to play for Ireland, I am not aware of the IRFU not giving approval in the instances when this happens.

I know in a case of a young Auckland player, Troy Nathan who played for Connacht a few years back, didnt have to have the approval clause in his contract because his mother is Irish.

The IRFU always have the final say at the end of the day. Joe Schmidt can insist on a player moving province (http://www.irishtimes.com/sport/rugby/i ... -1.1756149). Also say if he wanted player X to be first choice, stop player Y from abroad signing. It's a highly erroneous comment to say that the Irish provinces are operating the same system as an independent team from the Premiership.

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Re: Union-led poaching

Postby 4N » Mon, 26 May 2014, 02:26

AUCKLANDREUNION wrote:Dropkick is correct to say that the Irish franchises are separate contracting entities, however he is leaving a little point out of discussion.

If a New Zealander (probably applies to all foreigners) wants a contract with an Irish franchise. for arguements sake Bundee Aki wants to playt for Pat Lam at Connacht, then they are the contracting parties, however since bundee Aki doesnt qualify to play for Ireland through parents/grandparents, he has to have a clause in his contract that requries that before the contract proceeds the contract has to be approved by the IRFU.

Hence we get all these kiwis and Polynesians saying at the time of signing how they would love to play for Ireland, I am not aware of the IRFU not giving approval in the instances when this happens.

I know in a case of a young Auckland player, Troy Nathan who played for Connacht a few years back, didnt have to have the approval clause in his contract because his mother is Irish.


This may have been an accurate snapshot five or six years ago, but it no longer is. The IRFU centrally advise on which signings are approved, and except in extreme circumstances, signings going forward are to be Irish qualified or project players (available for naturalisation). It's funny that ormond lad says that they're trying to make provinces more Irish. No, they're trying to make provinces fully stocked with either Irish qualified or project players. Hence John Afoa is out at Ulster and reputedly players like Callum Black have been told they will lose their contracts if they lose Ireland eligibility.

Muliaina has been brought over as a player/coach, so they IRFU get their benefit out of him.

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Re: Union-led poaching

Postby Sables4EVA » Mon, 26 May 2014, 04:26

There is no point in arguing if people won't see both sides.

All i can say is we need a face palm smiley but this will do.

:roll: :roll: :roll:

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Re: Union-led poaching

Postby sk 88 » Mon, 26 May 2014, 08:21

YamahaKiwi wrote:
sk 88 wrote:
YamahaKiwi wrote:I agree about the different eligibility for tier 2-3 unions. I've held that view for a long time. There's so many challenges those unions face compared to tier 1 unions that I think this is one area the sport can give them a leg-up in to help.


Practically though you face a few problems.

1) Where is the line and what happens when you cross the line?

I'd imagine Italy + Scotland would be included in any tighter qualifications, but would Georgia/Romania/Canada/Fiji? Would Samoa? And what happens if Romania starts to get back to its peak results but uses a handfull of naturalised players? Do they then have to drop them?

2) Do we really want an un-level playing field? We've seen in Europe club rugby that concessions granted unthinkingly to then minor nations become big problems when they sort themselves out and become a top dog.

3) Publicly marking a nation as "substandard" and not fit to play by our rules is not a good thing even if well intentioned. How would the RWC work? Or if the barrier is lower qualification?

One game, one set of rules.


Well yes of course there'd have to be deep discussion over the T&Cs of implementing such a policy and your first point is the most important one.

Yes, as tier 1 nations I'd definitely include Italy & Scotland and under my thinking they would have say a five year residency rule, could only use a player from outside their country on descent rules if that player had a parent from the other country and couldn't use players who'd already played for another national team (current rule).

Romania, Georgia and all the other countries outside tier 1 would have more relaxed rules, say three year residency, could use players who'd played for other national teams, that were eligible because they had originally come from that country themselves (eg Tim Visser playing for the Netherlands) or by descent with grandparent link to other country. When tier 2 countries become sufficiently good enough that they are consistently beating a number of tier one countries so that their tier status is upgraded, then as a tier one country they would come under the tighter rules. Any foreign residency players already playing for the team would still be eligible but no new foreign players would be unless under the tier one rules.

Umm, it's already an un-level playing field, against anyone outside of tier one status. Again, already through the way they've been treated by tier one unions traditionally, the whole message already is that iff you're not in the tier one clique, you're substandard so no difference there from what is already the case.

The new rules could be reviewed say after ten years and any amendments made. There's no reason why having made a rule, we have to stick to it for 100 years.


I respect the intentions but I don't like the direction of travel.

We want less barriers, less complication and more equality between nations. I really don't think making the rules different for some would help and all you would do is create massive bitterness in Italy, Scotland and anyone else that lost to a team playing by different rules. This would likely hinder other attempts to create a better playing field.

If I was from Romania or Samoa I really don't think I'd appreciate the IRB telling me I'm no good and not good enough to play by the same rules as the big boys. This is exactly the attitude we want to challenge and get rid of.

Especially when so few teams would actually benefit from having shorter residency periods anyway. Just having tighter rules on qualifications would help so much to begin with I would just push for that (either 5 or 7 years is fine by me, 5 the preference).

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Re: Union-led poaching

Postby YamahaKiwi » Mon, 26 May 2014, 08:34

I can agree at the very least sk88 that the residential rule period needs to be extended. 5 or 6 would do for me. 5 would be the absolute minimum, as long as it's concurrent of course. It's half a decade and probably just about half a decent player's career so that amount of time is asking for a decent committment. It would definitely make guys think twice before going overseas to deliberately earn a cap for someone they have no prior relationship with. Under those rules, Malakai Fekitoa would just be becoming eligible for NZ now since he came to NZ only in 2009 (17 years old).

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Re: Union-led poaching

Postby dropkick » Tue, 27 May 2014, 11:29

YamahaKiwi wrote:Wrong. sables is right. Even if the IRFU might not contract the players themselves, they set the rules and the rule is you have to be Irish eligible. Players going to France or England don't come under the same direction from the FFR or the RFU when selecting foreign players. ie They are welcome to play for Samoa, or the US, or Argentina etc. That is NOT the case for players going to Ireland. They are locked in to being available for only Ireland for the duration of their contract there. that makes them PROJECT players. Whereas say Thomas Waldrom went to Leicester who would still contract him english-qualified or not, and it just so happened that after playing there he came to the attention of the national selectors and was chosen. Now it turned out that he qualified under the grandparent rule but it says something that he wasn't even aware of that when he went to England so he obviously hadn't gone there on the pretence of playing for the England team. Hence he was NOT a project player in the same way Aki is. Myself, and everyone else keeps on making that point to you and Ormond Lad and you guys keep on ignoring it.

At least I think we all agree the residency rule is in need of a change. If Bundee Aki was to go for 5-6 years and make a committment for that long I don't think this issue would be as big as it is. It's a great pity CEO Brett Gosper has already ruled that out before even allowing at least an IRB discussion on it. That's the kind of narrow-minded thinking I just hate to see in the leadership of sports or political organisations etc. C'mon Brett, at least discuss the idea!



Are they locked in? I thought that was illegal?
And if players are free to change their mind after 3 years then why not during that time?

Also, project players are counted as NIE (non Irish eligible) and I don't think Connacht are obliged to sign any.

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Re: Union-led poaching

Postby Stephem » Tue, 27 May 2014, 22:02

It would be unfair of the provinces not to do it! Just because the clubs in other countries unintentionally buy in project players for the national team doesn't mean the irfu should actively seek to avoid it. I hate the 3 year rule and really disliked seeing strauss playing for ireland and flutey for the lions before that.

Hopefully with the irfu going from one end of the spectrum to the other it will highlight how ridiculous a rule it is. Only problem is how to change it? It would be harsh to now tell these players they cant play for ireland!

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Re: Union-led poaching

Postby HMFCalltheway » Tue, 27 May 2014, 23:21

Sables4EVA wrote:Project players are players specifically contracted by national unions and then assigned to clubs that said union controls, as the IRFU controls the 4 teams in the Rabo and the SRU controls the 2 teams. These players are specifically picked and paid to see out their residency and then selected for the national team.

It does not work in England or Wales because the clubs are their own entities and do not answer to the RFU or WRU concerning the player roster.

It does not always work, case in point being Andrew Rose from Zimbabwe who was overlooked for a genuine Scotsman and because of the outcry fro the Scottish public over the amount of foreigners in the side (the Scots are very proudly nationalistic).


Erm it probably wasn't because of any outcy over the number of foreign born players in the squad as we have plenty of others. Just more a fact that he didn't make the jump well from underage level. This year he's spent his domestic season in the second tier of our semi-pro/amateur domestic league system, though Boroughmuir are being promoted this year.

There is certainly resentment over the SRU's recruiting policies from time-to-time with there sure to be an outcry when Nel and Strauss are Scottish Qualified, but most just begrudge it and let it carry on.

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Re: Union-led poaching

Postby Sables4EVA » Wed, 28 May 2014, 11:00

HMFCalltheway wrote:
Sables4EVA wrote:Project players are players specifically contracted by national unions and then assigned to clubs that said union controls, as the IRFU controls the 4 teams in the Rabo and the SRU controls the 2 teams. These players are specifically picked and paid to see out their residency and then selected for the national team.

It does not work in England or Wales because the clubs are their own entities and do not answer to the RFU or WRU concerning the player roster.

It does not always work, case in point being Andrew Rose from Zimbabwe who was overlooked for a genuine Scotsman and because of the outcry fro the Scottish public over the amount of foreigners in the side (the Scots are very proudly nationalistic).


Erm it probably wasn't because of any outcy over the number of foreign born players in the squad as we have plenty of others. Just more a fact that he didn't make the jump well from underage level. This year he's spent his domestic season in the second tier of our semi-pro/amateur domestic league system, though Boroughmuir are being promoted this year.

There is certainly resentment over the SRU's recruiting policies from time-to-time with there sure to be an outcry when Nel and Strauss are Scottish Qualified, but most just begrudge it and let it carry on.


That is probably more accurate to say as I know he did struggle with the jump to senior level. He has been a great addition to the Sables squad though and he may still make a WC appearance if all goes well next month.

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