It seems that being crapped for a county doesn't make you a citizen of that country The BBC reports that former rugby union international Brian Moore is angered by the news that ex-England player Hendre Fourie is facing deportation after the flanker was forced to retire because of a shoulder injury.
The South-Africa born open-side, who has been living in the United Kingdom for eight years, has had his contract cancelled by Sale Sharks, meaning his visa is no longer valid.
The 33-year-old Fourie, who qualified to play for England through residency and won eight caps, injured his shoulder playing against Ireland in 2011 and must leave the country by the end of the month.
If he had French or Polish for example he would still be eligible to live in the UK
The residency rules which allows players from other countries to be capped come under by another comes under
REGULATION 8. ELIGIBILITY TO PLAY FOR NATIONAL
- A Player may only play for the senior fifteen-aside National Representative Team, the next senior fifteen-a-side National
- Representative Team and the senior National Representative Sevens Team
- of the Union of the country in which:
- (a) he was born; or
- (b) one parent or grandparent was born; or
- (c) he has completed thirty six consecutive months of Residence
- immediately preceding the time of playing.
This has led to a number of players swapping countries and it has benefited the game in Italy and Japan in particular.
But if you took the South Sea Islanders out of the New Zelaland and Australian sides they would not be the force they are in World and it has hit Tonga Fiji and Samoa hard.
Being capped for your country is not like being signed for a premiership team it is an honour and I admired former Llanelli number 8 Ben Morgan for opting to play for England even though he was eligible for Wales . He saw himself as English and played for his country.
I do not entirely object to capping of players who now live in and play in a different country . My ruling would be to place an age limit say 20 before the residency rule kicks in.
Or extend it to 5 years and the player must have obtained citizenship of that country
Perhaps an adjustment could be made for Lower Tier countries to help them develop the game.
It is ridiculous that a player like Fourie can be cruelly discarded after his Injury and possibly deported as he is NOT English even though he has played for England.