Vern Cotter backs change to rugby’s residency rule

Scotland coach Vern Cotter is in favour of a change to rugby's residency rules. Picture: SNS
Scotland coach Vern Cotter is in favour of a change to rugby's residency rules. Picture: SNS
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Scotland coach Vern Cotter believes international rugby’s controversial residency rule should be increased from three years to five, which goes against the SRU’s backing to maintain the status quo.

Moves are afoot to tighten up the regulations which allow players with no birth or blood connection to play for a country after living there for three years. Scotland have benefited by capping the likes of Tim Visser, Josh Strauss and WP Nel.

World Rugby vice-president Agustin Pichot has called for a change to the rule, while the federation of France has indicated that they will select only players with a French passport in the future. Speaking at yesterday’s RBS Six Nations launch in London, Cotter said: “I think it will probably go to five years and that is probably a good thing.

“We have used the three-year rule the same as everybody else. I think the general consensus is that it should go to five years. I’m not a decision maker and I just adapt to whatever decision is made. My job is to try and win games.

“It would affect us but it’s the same for everybody. It would mean the academies and the youth programmes would need to be in order so we could bring players through. There are pros and cons but I can understand why they’d want to move it to five years.”