25 Oct 2011

Sport: IRB to consult with USA over American Samoa

11:56 am on 25 October 2011

The International Rugby Board will consult with USA Rugby before deciding American Samoa's application for full membership to the IRB.

Governor Togiola Tulafono attended an IRB meeting in Auckland two weeks ago that was supposed to decide the American Samoa Rugby Union's application.

The matter was deferred so the governing body could assess whether there were any issues on player eligibility given the special relationship between the United States and American Samoa.

The President of the Federation of Oceania Rugby Unions, Lefau Harry Schuster, says the IRB concern arises from the fact that France has similar arrangements with some of its French territories and the players from these territories are only allowed to play for France.

Lefau says New Caledonia falls into this category and the IRB was being cautious to ensure that American Samoa will not be treated the same way.

The application will be dealt with in the IRB Council meeting in May 2012.