World Rugby says it does not condone anyone convicted of a serious crime undertaking any official rugby activities while still serving their sentence.
It follows news that former Fiji sevens international Amenoni Nasilasila was reportedly seen training with the Namosi rugby teams in Suva, despite being sentenced to eight years in prison in September for rape.
World Rugby said its position had been clearly communicated to the relevant bodies in Fiji who confirmed that the player in question was not permitted to participate in such activity.
World Rugby statement: Amenoni Nasilasila: “World Rugby does not condone any person convicted of a serious crime and currently serving their sentence undertaking any official rugby activities under Union jurisdiction.” https://t.co/FecYmBwCub #rugby @oceaniarugby— World Rugby Media (@worldrugbymedia) July 26, 2020
However, the Fiji Corrections Services said Nasilasila was not the first prisoner to be allowed to participate in public sports nor would he be the last.
The Director of Rehabilitation, Senior Superintendent Salote Panapasa, said Nasilasila had his day in court and was now under the care of the department.
World Rugby said the sport's core values were fundamental to the game and it would continue to drive positive action to ensure they are reflected across the sport, on and off the field.
The governing body said it was fully supportive of and will continue to work with Oceania Rugby and their Unions on work being undertaken in the region in partnership with ChildFund and UN Women