The player drain is taking it’s toll on Rugby and it’s less funded nations, with talent flocking to bigger, more successful nations in a bid to make it into the professional game. This drain is nothing new, with players jetting off to the likes of France and England like there’s no tomorrow, making it less of a talent drain and more of an outpour.
But Pichot is planning to tackle this problem, sticking with his nation’s view of the drain; promoting the campaign for putting a holt to the residency law. Although, this is not what he will be preaching in May, when he will attempt to change the way things work in terms of eligibility for national teams and where players wish to go; Pichot will be looking at raising the residency rule, possibly to 5 years; speak about whether players should be able to appear for more than one nation in their careers and also whether they should play for their Grandparent’s nation. All of these being potential power shifting decisions.
If any of this happens, it will all be a pretty big blow for the stronger nations, as they will no longer be able to snatch up the youngsters as easy as they have previously. Although we may not see such dominant sides down to less player migration, we will definitely not see our top 10 nations cemented in their places, which is what some of us previously feared if change wasn’t possible. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though, as although this is what we want to see from a neutral point of view, it is likely it will not even happen…
This is not down to dodgy politics or anything like that, but simply down to Pichot having to get 75% of the World Rugby Council to agree with his decisions before anything goes ahead; making this venture of his a bit tricky, especially when there are so many views on the matter.
Although, you can’t knock him for trying! He is attempting to make change where it is largely wanted and needed, despite the daggers from the 6 nations, who most definitely did not want him to say anything.
With it being anyone’s guess which way it will go, let’s see if it is time for change!