In the wake of the dismissal of their appeal, International Rugby Players has expressed its solidarity with the Spanish players who will not now compete at Rugby World Cup 2023.
Without going into the detail of the ruling and eligibility laws currently in place, the thoughts of all in our game should go out to the players who qualified on merit for the pinnacle tournament only to have their dreams dashed by the acts and omissions of others.
This is not the first time Spanish players have been excluded from a Rugby World Cup – Los Leones were also disqualified in 2019 after an administrative error – and we are concerned about the impact this will have on the development of the game in Spain for future generations.
No player at any level should be prevented from realising a life’s work by events entirely beyond their control and the game needs to implement the measures necessary to avoid a similar situation in the future.
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