Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Pumas, Eagles and Leafs deal with same thing

November 14, 2006

via New Zealand Herald:

British clubs up to old tricks

4.00pm Tuesday November 14, 2006
By Steve Boughey

Pacific Islanders rugby head coach Pat Lam has revealed that some British clubs tried to stop players from playing in Test matches for his side on their current tour of the UK.

Lam told his story to the Fiji Times newspaper.

"There was a lot of pressure put on some of the boys to pull out of the tour, especially from English clubs and some French ones," Lam said in the paper this week.

Lam was reluctant to name which clubs tried to block the release of players for international duty, though was quick to exclude Saracens and Wasps from blame.

"Saracens provide four players, including the squad captain, while Wasps ensured that cooperation with his former assistant was outstanding," he said in the article in the Fiji Times.

"There was a lot of pressure put on the guys.

"In fact, if it wasn't for article 9.4 (an IRB regulation covering release of international players) then the tour would have been cancelled.

"The regulations state that any club persuading a player not to appear for his country will lose the player for the duration of the tour, plus ten more days.

"They might as well lose the guys for three weeks to us, rather than for five weeks to a ban", he concluded.

UK clubs have traditionally done everything in their power to get their star foreign players to put club commitments over and above obligations to international duty.


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