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The red tape reason why Rynhardt Elstadt isn't available for the Toulouse trip to Munster

By Sam Smith
(Photo by Getty Images)

Tightened Irish government measures surrounding travel into Ireland are set to deny Rynhardt Elstadt the chance to line out for his French club Toulouse in this Saturday’s round of 16 Heineken Champions Cup match versus in Limerick versus Munster, last weekend’s beaten Guinness PRO14 finalists.   

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The twice-capped 31-year-old Springboks forward has been ruled out by red tape governing the rules of anyone who has recently been to South Africa. Toulouse had allowed Elstadt to go home during a vacation period to pass an airline pilot’s license exam.

However, while Elstadt would have been available to play for Toulouse if the Munster match was being staged in France, the period of isolation for someone who has been to South Africa is longer in Ireland. 

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Elstadt has missed last weekend Top 14 match versus Montpellier due to French isolation rules, but PCR tests since came back negative and he had resumed training at the start of this week in the expectation that he would be able to be selected to play at Munster. 

However, Irish government rules demand that someone who has been in South Africa isn’t allowed into Ireland until a 14-day period has passed. When Toulouse travel to Limerick on Thursday, it will have only been twelve days since Elstadt left South Africa.

“He had an exam to finish to become an airline pilot,” explained Toulouse boss Ugo Mola ahead of the game in Ireland. “He was allowed to leave, with the rule adapted to our government and the ministry of health. 

“He had an isolation to respect before resuming activity, but we received the new regulation of the EPCR which is adapted to the Irish government and prohibits Elstadt from travelling.” Skills coach AB Zondagh will also miss the match in Ireland for the same reason as Elstadt. 

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Shaylen 1 hours ago
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If France, Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland got together and all changed their eligibility laws in the same way SA has it would be absolutely bonkers. All players from all nations involved in Europe would be fair game as would their coaches. The investment in rugby would be supercharged as teams would rush to create dream teams. Transfer markets would be super charged, salary caps may change, private investment would grow as rich backers first buy clubs and then put money into their clubs in an effort to land the best players. The richest clubs and franchises would benefit most but money and players would move across borders at a steady flow. Suddenly countries like Wales and Scotland would have a much larger pool of players to select from who would be developed and improved in systems belonging to their rivals within superstar squads while their clubs receive large sums in the transfer market. The Six Nations would experience a big boost as the best players become available all the time. The Champions cup would become even more fiercely contested as the dream teams clash. Fan engagement would grow as fans would follow their favourite players creating interest in the game across the continent. Transfer markets and windows would become interesting events in themselves, speculation would drive it and rumours of big transfers and interest in players would spread. All of this is speculation and much of it would not eventuate straight away but just like in football the spread of players and talent would create these conditions over time. The transfer markets in European football is proof of this. Football had the same club vs country debate eons ago and favoured an open system. This has made it the largest game in the world with global interest and big money. Rugby needs to embrace this approach in the long run as well

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Jon 7 hours ago
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