World Rugby to look at Pacific talent drain

2016-06-14 11:51
World Rugby

Wellington - World Rugby pledged on Tuesday to examine a raft of issues that cash-strapped South Pacific unions complain is draining talented players from their ranks.

The governing body also reaffirmed its commitment to sustaining rugby in Fiji, Tonga and Samoa in the wake of financial issues that have affected all three unions in recent years.

It said members of its high-powered rugby committee had held "highly positive and constructive meetings with the three unions" in the Fijian resort town of Nadi.

As a result, it said Argentine legend Agustin Pichot had been appointed to review a number of issues and report back in October.

One key area is the conduct of agents, who Fijian coaches have long complained lure young players from the islands with unrealistic promises.

Pichot will also examine how rich club academies handle Pacific talent and the player-release regulations that island nations believe weaken their teams at major tournaments.

When Pacific players earn big money overseas they come under pressure from their paymasters to put club ahead of country, or to switch national allegiance.

In 2013 there were 272 players eligible for Fiji, Tonga and Samoa who were playing overseas, but only 198 were actually available as 74 had aligned themselves elsewhere.

World Rugby said the Nadi meeting agreed support programmes for the South Pacific unions should be enhanced in the future.

It said it invested 26.8 million pounds in the three unions between 2011 and 2015, as well as committing 4.0 million pounds to high-performance and development programmes in 2016.

Pacific rugby has long been plagued by governance issues.

In April, World Rugby had to step in with a rescue package for the Tonga Rugby Union after it was placed in receivership and could not afford to pay staff salaries.

Read more on:    world rugby  |  rugby

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee remains defiant, saying he won't resign despite a shambolic two years at the helm. Your thoughts?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.