Eligibility rules to be reviewed

Mal Meninga
Mal Meninga

The International Federation has pledged to clarify the rules on eligibility in international rugby league in the wake of Australia’s controversial selections for the Trans-Tasman Test against New Zealand.

New Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga received widespread criticism for selecting Fiji winger Semi Radrada while confusion surrounded the position of Brisbane stand-off Anthony Milford who was prevented from representing Samoa.

Under current regulations, players can switch their allegiance between World Cups but there are many grey areas and that has prompted the RLIF board at its meeting this week to launch an immediate review.

RLIF chairman Nigel Wood said: “The board determined that an immediate review of eligibility rules should be conducted by David Collier, the chief executive of the RLIF, and Andrew Hill, the secretary of the RLIF.

“It was further determined that the chief executive should codify all RLIF regulations into a consolidated document for ease of communication to stakeholders and members.

“These are important pieces of work given the changing nature of international sport and the desire to ensure that the top players in each nation are eligible to represent their country in international football.”

The board also received a report on work to create global consistency of the rules and paved the way for the introduction of an Inter-continental Cup in 2019.

That is likely to be confirmed in August or September while organisers say they anticipate being able to announce venues and matches for the 2017 World Cup in July.

The board, which appointed new NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg as a director, will hold the Federation’s annual meeting and congress in Liverpool from November 18-20 to coincide with the final of the 2016 Four Nations Series.