SAMOA are to test an eligibility loophole that could see them boost their team for the 2015 Rugby World Cup where they are scheduled to meet Scotland in the group stage.
The South Sea Island nation are hoping to add seasoned internationals from New Zealand to their squad for next year’s tournament in England and Wales.
Under International Rugby Board (IRB) eligibility rules, a player who has appeared for one country’s senior team cannot play for another. But a loophole for the 2016 Olympics sevens competition allows players who have not appeared for the first country for more than 18 months to play for a second, if they hold a passport of that country, in an IRB sevens tournament. That would then make them eligible for next year’s World Cup and for the Rio Games the following year.
“We are in the process of putting applications in to get certain players over the line,” Samoa assistant coach Alama Ieremia said yesterday.
New Zealand media have speculated that former All Black Isaia Toeava could line up for Samoa from next year.