IRB declare Steven Shingler is tied to Wales

Despite the London Irish centre was selected in the Scotland squad before the start of the Six Nations, the IRB have ruled that Steven Shingler cannot play for the country of his mother’s birth. Here is the full statement from the IRB.

The IRB Regulations Committee Panel hearing the Steven Shingler eligibility case has determined that the player is tied to Wales in accordance with IRB Regulation 8 as it stands and therefore is ineligible to represent another Union.

The Panel consisting of Peter Boyle (Ireland, Chairman) Giancarlo Dondi (Italy) and Tim Gresson (New Zealand) heard evidence from the player, his agent and the Scottish and Welsh Rugby Unions at a hearing in Dublin on February 27.

The Panel determined that, based on the relevant provisions of IRB Regulation 8, the relevant guidelines and the facts presented at the hearing, Shingler is captured for Wales in accordance with IRB Regulation 8. This decision is binding on the parties until it is endorsed or overturned by the IRB Council.

The Panel noted that, in accordance with IRB Regulation 8, playing in a designated capturing match was the key determining factor with regard to the player’s eligibility. In this respect the Panel accepted the evidence of the Welsh Rugby Union that although Shingler had not signed the Union eligibility confirmation form he had been fully advised by the WRU that playing in the France Under 20 v Wales Under 20 match during the 2011 Under 20 Six Nations would capture him for Wales.

The Panel acknowledged that the ongoing review of the next senior national representative team under IRB Regulation 8 was launched in April 2011 in collaboration with all IRB Member Unions to determine a system that was appropriate.

It also noted the recommendation of the IRB Rugby and Regulations Committees, subsequent to this hearing, that the designation of the Under 20 side as the next senior national representative team should no longer be sustained. This issue will be considered by the IRB Council at its Special Meeting on May 15, 2012.

Arguably the greatest positive to come out of this is the IRB’s realisation that they need to address the Under 20 side law. Do you feel Shingler should have been able to play for Scotland? Will he even play for Wales?

11 thoughts on “IRB declare Steven Shingler is tied to Wales

  1. I don’t agree that playing under 20 rugby should tie you to a country. Countries do not take the under 20 set-up seriously enough. In the case of England, I believe you should be tied to England when you pull on the white jersey to play for the first team or the Saxons in a full international test match.

    You shouldn’t be able to ‘cap’ a player at Under 20 level just to prevent him or her playing for another country.

  2. He should be allowed to play for Scotland. It’s not his fault the Welsh didn’t have enough cash to fund an ‘A’ team in 2011, and therefore the under 20’s have to follow this rule. It’s ridiculous and needs to be addressed.

    1. Whilst I agree under 20s should not commit you to the country. You can’t blame the WRU they……. “he had been fully advised by the WRU that playing in the France Under 20 v Wales Under 20 match during the 2011 Under 20 Six Nations would capture him for Wales” Its his own fault. Although it would be very hard to turn down that kind of experiance.

    2. I agree, this whole situation should’ve been avoided long ago. WRU not backing a Wales “A team” because of financial reasons is a daft decision which led to this daft situation.

  3. Shame for the guy. You can understand the IRB need to make a stance, but the cap wa only at U21 level. On a personal level, not being able to represent his country will also impact on him financially, which means a lot more as a rugby player then it would a footballer. Reminds me of how Isa Nacewa came on for about 2 mins for Fiji in a world cup when we was probably around 19/20 and then wasn’t able to choose NZ as his country even though he was born and bred there.

  4. It’s only the Wales under 20 game against France that counts as the second representative layer for disqualification as France also nominates it’s under 20’s as it’s second team.

    Being old school if I had been lucky to get a representative cap at any level for Wales I just could not imagine pulling on another countries jersey . Shingler although young was above the adult age of consent and younger players have got full representative honours -George North for one- so age cannot really be an excuse

    If he has the talent he should knuckle down and try to get back in the Welsh fold.

    1. I agree with the above post. If he did not want to be part of the senior set up, and wanted to play for Scotland why would he want to wear a Welsh jersey. I would not want to play for any other country at any level if i did not feel passionate about that country

  5. It’s a little ironic that he plays for an English club called London Irish, wants to play for Scotland, and has already represented Wales. I’m sure if he tried harder he could squeeze France and Italy in their somewhere.

  6. I hope he is good enough to play for Wales one day, otherwise I feel really sorry for him being denied the opportunity to play international rugby ( stuff of dreams for mortals like me ).

  7. Whilst technically the right decision it seems harsh. They have effectively ended his international career. I don’t understand why WRFU would devote resources to in effect stop a player playing for another team. There seems little point in picking someone who does not want to play for you. A case it seems where everyone loses.

    1. I don’t think it was WRU resources so much as the IRB having rules which had to be clarified and Wales have been here before with Grannygate . Scotland not Wales couldn’t avoid having to deal with the issue.

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