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New Rules Outrageous: Tuilaepa

Samoan Prime Minister and Samoa Rugby Union chairman, Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi strongly believes that the eligibility rules for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games would make things difficult for the
20 Nov 2014 12:03
New Rules Outrageous: Tuilaepa
Samoan Rugby Union chairman Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi.

Samoan Prime Minister and Samoa Rugby Union chairman, Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi strongly believes that the eligibility rules for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games would make things difficult for the island countries.

The then International Rugby Board which is now rebranded as World Rugby issued a statement in September on changes to eligibility rules. That now means a player can represent a country provided they have the correct passport and have not been capped by another team for 18 months.

Tuilaepa said this has just made it complex for the island unions.

“The requirement following the admission of rugby as sports to be played in the Olympics has now made it more complex, It has made it more difficult for our boys to play for their respective unions because of the requirement.

“ That is outrageous to us and it is the deliberate attempt to prevent our boys to come and play for our country, to promote the sport globally these big teams should just pick their best players and the rest of the players should be released,” he said.

The three unions Samoa, Tonga and Fiji would be meeting this week to discuss the way forward for the island countries. Tuilaepa strongly believes this discussion is timely with less than 10 months to go for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

“Our unions are amateur and not professional like other unions so we need to work together for the welfare of our players especially with the eligibility rules affecting the rights of our island players Fiji, Tonga and Samoa.”

Tuilaepa also brushed aside the idea of the three island unions to form a Pacific team for the expanded Super Rugby competition in 2016 but instead each union should have their own teams represented in the competition.

Feedback: anasilini.ratuva@fijisun.com.fj

 

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