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Sports

Fijian players in other nations face tough rules

July 22, 2014 12:15 am

Fijian players featuring for other nations in the IRB World Sevens Series could miss out playing in the 2014/2015 season, if they don’t adhere to the latest rules.

The latest IRB regulations state that to play for a nation, players need to carry passports of that country.

Players like Virimi Vakatawa who plays for France, along with Japan’s Lote Tuqiri are just two who fall in this category, who might have to apply for passports of their adopted nations.

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Fiji sevens coach Ben Ryan says the rule comes into play from the first tournament, which is the Gold Coast Sevens in Australia in October.

“That’s the same for this year’s World Series. So anybody who played last year under residency grounds, this year will need a passport of that country. So you know there are a number of Fijians in teams like France, Japan, USA and Scotland, so none of them are eligible to play this year unless they have that country’s passport. Obviously all our Fijian players are home grown and have passport so we have don’t have that issue. Some of the other countries will be quickly either trying to accelerate passports or those guys will miss out.”

The new ruling comes in because of the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil, where players will only be able to represent a country, if they carry that nation’s passport.

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