Three years ago, World Rugby had voted to modify the residence time to play in another country. The current one is 36 months and the initiative was to extend it to 60.
The rule would have to come into effect from the beginning of 2021 but World Rugby, with Bill Beaumont as re-elected president, announced in the last hours that they will postpone the regulation for one year and it would take effect from December 31, 2021.
The official statement from World Rugby:
During the remainder of 2020 and all of 2021, any player who completes 3 years of residence in a country that has ancestry of some kind will be able to play for that team. We will have to wait until 2022 for the rule that will impose the 5 years of residence to allow the same to apply.
Due to the disruption to the international calendar caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, playing opportunities have been significantly impacted across the sport’s 127 member unions and eligible players may not have been able to represent a union based on 36 months of residence for the scheduled cutoff. closing date and therefore would automatically move to the 60-month requirement.
In light of these exceptional circumstances, the Executive Committee, after consulting with unions and International Rugby Players, determined that it was appropriate to extend the extension of the 36-month residency requirement set out in Regulation 8 to December 31, 2021.
The Executive Committee also confirmed that a player must meet the 36-month residency requirement and have represented the union by December 31, 2021, otherwise the player will be subject to the 60-month rule.