World Rugby

Ngani Laumape's message to World Rugby: 'Open up the eligibility rules'

Currently, once a player represents a nation at test level, they’re tied to that country for life unless they undergo a convoluted method to switch allegiances involving playing in a number of Olympics sevens qualifying tournaments.

Later this month, World Rugby will vote on whether to change the laws to allow players to change allegiances after sitting out a mandatory stand-down period of three years, provided that the player, their parents or their grandparents were born in the country they are looking to switch allegiances to.

World Rugby to vote on eligibility rule change which could see Charles Piutau represent Tonga

Tonga face England at Twickenham on Saturday missing around 20 players because of travel restrictions while dozens more of Tongan born or second generation stars are representing other countries. Under World Rugby Regulation 9, players cannot represent another nation after they have been capped for another country. Charles Piutau, the outstanding Bristol Bears full back, last represented New Zealand before the 2015 World Cup and has repeatedly expressed his desire to switch allegiances to Tonga.

World Rugby approves law amendment regarding use of leggings

Currently only permissible for women, law 4 will be extended to all participants with immediate effect, enabling the wearing of tights or leggings that meet criteria outlined under the law.

The announcement on the use of leggings has been made on welfare and accessibility grounds and reflects the growing worldwide use of World Rugby regulation 22 compliant artificial surfaces at both the elite and community levels, which have played a role in increased rugby accessibility and participation.

Former Tonga captain Inoke Afeaki warns World Rugby to scrap tactical substitutions

Former British Lions captain Sam Warburton even went as far as to suggest that "if something isn't done soon, a professional player will die during a game in front of TV cameras."

That theme has been picked up by five Lions legends, who sent an open letter to World Rugby demanding that the substitution rules are scrapped before it's too late.

World Rugby to introduce new laws to test matches

Two of the laws have already been trialed in Super Rugby this year, the goal-line drop out, which has been seen in Super Rugby Aotearoa and trans-Tasman - and the 50m line to 22m line kick, which was used in Super Rugby AU.

World Rugby believes both have the potential to increase space and decrease defensive line speed.

Three trials focus specifically on reducing injury risk at the breakdown.

All Blacks crush Tonga 102-0, Ian Foster defends one-sided fixture

Looking to make a statement after managing only a 50 per cent win record last year, New Zealand ran in 16 tries against a team boasting fewer combined test caps than All Blacks skipper Sam Whitelock alone.

Tonga, featuring 13 debutants in their matchday 23 after Covid-19 travel restrictions deprived them of their Europe-based players, were simply outgunned and outsmarted in a mismatch of a contest.

World Rugby to help fund Pacific Island Super Rugby teams

The Fijian Drua and Moana Pasifika were announced in November as New Zealand Rugby's preferred partners to join an expanded 12-team competition in 2022, subject to a range of conditions.

World Rugby's Executive Committee has approved a $2.36m annual funding package for an initial three-year period to support the two franchises, subject to NZR Board approval and key conditions being met.

Both franchises will also be supported by their respective unions and private equity funding.

Spit test could be way of the future for concussion testing

A three-year research project involving more than a thousand professional men's rugby players found the biomarkers can show if a player is concussed, and also how a player's body is responding to the trauma several hours to several days later.

"Crucially, the differences in the salivary concentration of these biomarkers are measurable within minutes of injury, which means we can make rapid diagnoses," said Antonio Belli, a professor of trauma neurosurgery at Birmingham University who co-led the study.

Pacific rugby stars call for eligibility overhaul

That's the message from two Pacific Island rugby stars who know a thing or two about being proud to represent their dual heritage.

Tim Nanai-Williams grew up in South Auckland dreaming of one day pulling on the All Blacks jersey. He got closer than most, turning out for the New Zealand Sevens team in 2008 and 2009.

But the former Chiefs utility back was able to switch his international allegiance in 2015 via the "Olympic loophole", after to make himself eligible for the Manu Samoa fifteen-a-side team.

World Rugby defends Pacific involvement in new women's competition

WXV is a three-tier tournament beginning in 2023 that aims to boost depth ahead of an expanded 16-team World Cup in 2025.

Fiji Rugby CEO John O'Connor said they were excited for the Fijiana to play more international matches.

"Where we are in the competition will depend mostly on how we perform in the World Cup. It's a blessing the World Cup has been moved to 2022," he said.