New Zealand reserves selection ineligibility for players playing overseas

New Zealand reserves selection ineligibility for players playing overseas

Scott Robertson, New Zealand coach. Photosport / Panoramic

New All Blacks coach Scott Robertston has indicated that there will be no developments regarding the non-selection of players who play overseas.

All Blacks coach Scott Robertson will not be able to select overseas professional players into his squad any time soon, as New Zealand Rugby sees no need to change the selection ban.

New Zealand has long restricted Test eligibility to domestic players to protect its domestic competitions, a rule some experts consider outdated and could hurt the three-time world champions in the long term. When his appointment as coach was announced last April, Robertson said he would be open to selecting foreign players.

Change is not on the agenda

However, NZR president Mark Robinson said the topic was not even discussed at the final board meeting of the year on Wednesday morning. “This was not discussed“, he told New Zealand media. “We’re certainly not surprised that things like this happen after a World Cup year that saw a number of players leave “, he added.

We are very clear about our protocols and believe they have played a vital role in the All Blacks’ success over a long period of time, but we also recognize that the world changes and from time to time these discussions need to take place. Right now, we’re really happy with the situation.»

A number of the All Blacks headed abroad following the team’s appearance in the World Cup final in France, including fly-half Richie Monga, who signed a multi-year contract to play for a Japanese club and is now no longer eligible for selection.

South Africa had previously limited foreign players to at least 30 caps, but abandoned that policy in 2018. The Springboks won the World Cup in Japan the following year and successfully defended it in France. Australia has also restricted the selection of players based overseas, with former coaches Eddie Jones and Dave Rennie allowing just three selections per competition or tour.

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