World Rugby’s vice-chairman Augustin Pichot has drawn enormous criticism online for publishing the percentage of players in Tier 1 nations born outside of the countries they represent.
The tweet has sparked outrage online, with many suggesting the figures are misleading, and some have even gone as far as call for his resignation from World Rugby.
Pichot had been a strong advocate for extending the three-year residency rule out to five, and has championed the causes of Tier 2 nations since taking office.
The list had been doing the rounds on the internet after a rugby youtuber posted a video on the topic, and Pichot took to Twitter to post them to his many followers. At the top of the list, the figures claim 46.3 per cent of Scottish players were born outside of Scotland.
Jugadores No nacidos en sus paises/ Foreign-born players en Noviembre ?
?? & ?? 0%
— agustin pichot (@AP9_) November 20, 2018
The former Puma’s scrumhalf has drawn huge fire from it. Here’s a taste.
You're an absolute disgrace.
Ps – stop calling Tests 'friendlies'. You're making our work harder this month
— Paddy O'Brien (@Miggeldy_Higens) November 20, 2018
— Dai Lama (@WelshDalaiLama) November 20, 2018
Gus Pichot is Nigel Farage in sandals and t-shirt/sports jacket combo
— Cammy Black ??????? (@CammyBlack) November 20, 2018
Gus, these figures are so misleading – you must know that?
— Fifteen Rugby (@FifteenRugbyXV) November 20, 2018
“Foreign born” could mean their parents were temporarily overseas for 6 months when they were born or they moved to a totally new country 3 years ago or everything in between. A wholly misleading statistic. @ultimaterugby
— Roy Allen (@Roy_Allen) November 20, 2018
Pichot has not been afraid to shake things up or speak his mind as vice-president.
Last month he said he would not be party to rugby’s ‘ruin’.
“If you ask me as the playing side, it’s not working. Is the international game under threat? I think it is. Look at the balance sheets of some nations and you can see exactly where we stand,” the Argentinian told the Guardian. “By the 2019 World Cup we need to have a blueprint for the next 10 years.
“On a scale of one to 10, I think we’re four out of 10 now [in terms of finding a solution] but before we were not even on the chart. We need to push that needle from four to at least six or seven. I’m not going to be an accomplice to rugby’s ruin.”
Pichot is also behind the new ‘League of Nations’ format involving the top 12 teams in the world in place of the current November tours.
The brainchild of Pichot will reportedly come to fruition in 2020 and will see an international competition that divides the 12 teams into four groups of three, with three pool games followed by a semi-final and final.
The new World League would reportedly be played alternately in the Northern and Southern Hemisphere each November.
Pichot proposed the idea in July at San Francisco’s Rugby Sevens World Cup. Pichot presented the idea in a meeting New Zealand Rugby CEO Steve Tew, French Rugby President Bernard Laporte and South Africa Rugby Union CEO Jurie Roux.
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