Double penalty for Emmanuel Meafou, who has to wait before representing France

Emmanuel Meafou was not retained by the French squad to prepare for the Six Nations Tournament. The Australian-born second row will also miss the World Cup with the Blues as he will not be fit. Toulousain (age 24) is subject to World Rugby rules, but is also subject to FFR rules. Explanations.

Since Tuesday’s announcement of the 42-man squad to prepare for the start of the Six Nations in Italy on February 5 (16:00), the case of Emmanuel Meafou has been the subject of much debate. Unretained by the Blues squad, the Australian-born second row is the focus of coach Fabien Galthie. But due to eligibility reasons, he cannot be elected yet and will be elected only from November 2023. Therefore, he will not be able to participate in the 2023 World Cup with the French fifteen. The reason is twofold.

A commitment to live in a country for 60 consecutive months to represent itFirst, when Bernard Laporte was elected president of the French Rugby Federation in 2016, he required a French passport to be “selected” with the French team. Remember, Fijian Alivereti Raka finally took long steps to get the precious sesame in January 2019. Thus, the Clermont winger was able to participate in the 2019 World Cup in Japan with the Blues. Emmanuel Meafou has also started administrative procedures in this direction. . He should get his French passport soon. Unfortunately, this will not be enough.

also read: Alivereti Raka’s long road to joining the French rugby team

Indeed, the eligibility rules dictated by Article 8 of the World Rugby Regulations have changed from 1 January 2022. Although you have to live in a country for 36 consecutive months to be eligible for this country, you have to live there now. 60 months. Meafou arrived in France in December 2018. Therefore, he will be “unselectable” for the French team until November 2023. One of the members of the XV de France team answered our question as follows: “For some time, we knew that we could not select him for the World Cup. »

Toulouse gets a double penalty. Meafou could have been elected in December 2021, but he did not have a French passport. Although he will receive a valuable sesame seed, he may not be selected yet because of a World Rugby rule change. The second row of Australian origin will have to wait until later.

Can’t be picked for Australia nor New Zealand… Samoa rest…The question is whether Emmanuel Meafu is likely to be picked by another country, even though according to what we have, his desire is clearly to accept his troubles patiently and wait to suit up for the Blues. The answer is yes, but the possibilities are very limited. The second row was born in New Zealand. So he could play for the All Blacks. In theory yes, as per World Rugby Rule 8. But the New Zealand Federation has set a rule: to be selected, you have to play in New Zealand. It is impossible for him to wear the uniform with the silver fern. Emmanuel Meafou then grew up in Australia. He has Australian citizenship and a passport that goes with it.

Will Eddie Jones, who replaces Dave Rennie as Wallabies boss, win the day and pick Toulouse? The answer is yes again according to Article 8 of World Rugby. But here again, the Australian Federation has introduced an eligibility rule for players playing overseas, which they recently changed in February 2022. Three overseas players could join the Wallabies, provided they combine for more than 30 selections. Even if some exceptions are possible, Will Skelton, 24 picks, for example, because he was selected this fall. But legally, Meafou cannot be “officially” selected with Australia.

Finally, there’s Samoa, the country of birth of his passport-holding parents. Toulousain could be involved with a Samoan set-up that will welcome him with open arms at the World Cup. However, it is highly unlikely that you will see him wearing a Samoan jersey. His dream is to play in France.

also read: Emmanuel Meafou has extended his contract at Stade Toulouse until 2025

Emmanuel Meafou will have to wait until after the 2023 World Cup to make his debut in blue. On the other hand, there is nothing stopping Fabien Galthie from calling for an internship with the Blues and introducing him to the French group. But given the number of Toulouse players already selected (11 for the next match), it seems difficult to deprive Stade Toulousein of another element. Meafou will have to wait until the 2024 Tournament to pull on the Rooster jersey and celebrate his first selection.

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