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International Player Eligibility for The Qantas Wallabies

If you are a high calibre rugby player from overseas, seeking to determine your eligibility to represent Australia by playing for the Qantas Wallabies in this years’ World Cup in Japan, the time is now to perform a simple calculation.

World Rugby Regulation 8 sets out the rules for being eligible to represent a country at international level for the fifteen-a-side game. To put it simply, you must either:

  1. complete 36 consecutive months (3 years) of Residence immediately preceding the time of playing; or
  2. complete 10 years of cumulative Residence preceding the time of playing.

Defining ‘Residence’

World Rugby defines Residence as “the place or location in which the Player has his primary and permanent home”.

Short breaks in Residence, for example, for holidays, attending family/friends in other countries who may be ill etc., are unlikely to change the place/location of a Player’s primary and permanent home and are, therefore, unlikely to interrupt a Player’s period of Residence.

By way of a guideline, as a minimum requirement, at least 10 months actual physical presence of the Player in the country concerned throughout any qualifying year of the Residency period, will be required to demonstrate that the country is the place where the Player has his primary and permanent home.

The Calculation

Based on 3 years of residence immediately preceding the time of playing:

The Wallabies first game for the World Cup in 2019 is on 1 June 2019. This means that you must have been living in Australia, and have not left Australia for a period longer than 2 months in each of the following years:

  • at least 6 months of 2016
  • all of 2017
  • all of 2018
  • 5 months of 2019 up to and including 31 May 2019

Based on 10 years cumulative residency:

You may add together Residency periods, from your date of birth, during which the country has been your primary and permanent home in order to calculate the 10 years of cumulative Residence.

  • Consider every year since the year of your birth on an individual basis.
  • Determine which country you resided in for the majority of that individual year. Determine whether you spent more than 2 months out of this country in the particular year under consideration. If you spent more than 2 months away, you cannot include this year.
  • Tally the number of years you spent in the country for longer than 10 months. This is your total accumulation.

In all cases where a Player is seeking to establish eligibility by reference to the Residency criteria, the burden of proof is on the Player and the Union that he wishes to represent to prove that Player’s eligibility. Exceptional circumstances may allow for flexibility in the rules.

If you would like a free assessment of your eligibility, contact our director Chris Roche (former Wallaby) by emailing a copy of your movement records to or phoning 1300 335 334 for a confidential discussion.

ROCHE Legal are RUPA accredited rugby player agents, lawyers, and registered migration agents.

Upcoming Changes

The 36 month (3 years) period of consecutive immediate residence is set to change in from 1 January 2020 whereby World Rugby will require 60 months (5 years) of consecutive residence.


About the Author:

This post was authored by one of the Solicitors at ROCHE Legal. Should you have any questions, please contact our office.
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