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France respond to reports over Posolo Tuilagi eligibility

By Josh Raisey
(Photo by World Rugby via Getty Images)

After reports emerged this week saying 19-year-old lock Posolo Tuilagi is not eligible to play for France, Vice-President of the French Rugby Federation Jean-Marc Lhermet has confirmed those reports are false and has stated that he is indeed eligible to represent France this Six Nations.

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French outlet  L’Independent  reported that the son of Henry Tuilagi does not have a French passport and it was therefore believed that he could not play for Les Bleus under their rules. However, Midi Olympique  have now confirmed that Lhermet has said that that ruling is now outdated.

Previous FFR President Bernard Laporte introduced that rule for France internationals, but incumbent President Florian Grill has since axed it, meaning France are aligned with World Rugby’s rulings over eligibility.

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Under current World Rugby regulations, a player must meet a five-year residency period, which the Perpignan lock does comfortably after spending the majority of his life in France after being born in Samoa.

“There’s nothing stopping Fabien Galthié from selecting him,” Lhermet said, as reported by Midi Olympique. 

“There is no law on this subject. It was simply one man’s decision, which was not even validated by the steering committee. To be very clear, it was thought to have been, but it wasn’t. As a result, there was no obligation for us to continue in this direction.

“Only World Rugby’s eligibility rules come into play, from there he is fully selectable.”

With the wealth of talent that France currently have in the second-row department, with the newly qualified Emmanuel Meafou added to their roster, Lhermet did stress that Tuilagi may not necessarily be selected by Fabien Galthie despite being eligible.

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France will get the 2024 Guinness Six Nations underway on Friday February 2 with a visit from reigning Grand Slam winners Ireland to the Stade Vélodrome in Marseille.

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2 Comments
J
Joseph 160 days ago

Storm in a teacup. He isn’t now nor will he ever be as formidable as Jonah Lomu.

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