20 Oct 2014

Sport: Pacific rugby teams to challenge IRB in court

12:23 pm on 20 October 2014

Three Pacific Island rugby unions are to challenge the International Rugby Board in court over a rule change on player eligibility.

Manu Samoa assistant coach Namulauulu Alama Ieremia says he was disappointed when the IRB removed a rule which allowed a player from one country to play for another after representing the latter in one leg of the 7's World Series.

Now players set to change allegiance must play in four legs in the series.

Namulauulu told Samoan Capital Radio that Fiji, Samoa and Tonga are preparing a court challenge to the rule change.

He says the change was inappropriate because the IRB did the move after applications for six players to play for Samoa had been submitted.

Two of those players were scheduled to represent Manu Samoa 7's at the Gold Coast tournament last weekend in order to qualify for the national 15s.

The remaining players were to have turned out for the Samoa team at other tournaments.

Two of the players were also picked for Manu Samoa's tour of Europe end of the year.

The Samoa Rugby Union is still hopeful that an IRB meeting would approve the allegiance switch of the six players.

Manu Samoa Assistant Coach Namulauulu Alama Ieremia.

Manu Samoa Assistant Coach Namulauulu Alama Ieremia. Photo: PHOTOSPORT