Charles Piutau switches to Tonga

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openclashXX
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Charles Piutau switches to Tonga

Post by openclashXX »

he's not the first to do it, but surely the most high-profile nationality switcher thus far
Former All Blacks star Charles Piutau is in line to play for Tonga this year, according to a report from RNZ.

Piutau’s long-held dream of playing for the Island nation, which he first revealed four years ago, could become reality in June should he take to the field for Tonga at the Final Olympic Qualification Tournament in Monaco.

Players with dual eligibility who have already bound themselves to one country by representing that nation at XVs or sevens level can switch to their other country of allegiance through a loophole spurred on by rugby’s involvement at the Olympics.

A clash in regulations between World Rugby and the International Olympic Committee allows players to represent their second nation provided they have a passport for that country and have completed a three-year international stand down.

Once the stand down is completed, players must partake in an Olympic event to make themselves eligible for their new nation at all levels.

Piutau played the last of his 17 tests for the All Blacks in 2015 before he took up multiple lucrative deals with European clubs in the Premiership and PRO14.

Having not played test rugby for almost six years, the former Tonga U20 representative is eligible to play for the Tongan sevens team later this year in what will be their last chance at qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics.

Should Piutau help secure Tonga with the last remaining qualifying berth for the Olympics, the 29-year-old would then be able to represent the nation at the Games, with the men’s sevens tournament scheduled to take place at the end of July.

Tongan sevens coach Tevita Tu’ifua told RNZ that, with there being no more Olympic qualification tournaments until 2023, the upcoming event in Monaco acts as a prime chance for former All Blacks and Wallabies to become eligible for Tonga.

“That’s a dream for me, to be able to have that opportunity to be given to those guys who have been playing for the All Blacks or the Wallabies that are based over in Europe, to have the opportunity if they change their mind to make themselves available for the ‘Ikale Tahi, this is the opportunity for them.”
Gwenno
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Re: Charles Piutau switches to Tonga

Post by Gwenno »

I suspect that this will generate little poach rage.
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vintage_cox
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Re: Charles Piutau switches to Tonga

Post by vintage_cox »

Leave the loophole, but make it that you have to take part in the Olympic tournament, not just a random qualifier
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kiap
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Re: Charles Piutau switches to Tonga

Post by kiap »

vintage_cox wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 8:38 pm Leave the loophole, but make it that you have to take part in the Olympic tournament, not just a random qualifier
For clarity, who exactly are you suggesting gets to make that call?
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Zakar
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Re: Charles Piutau switches to Tonga

Post by Zakar »

vintage_cox wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 8:38 pm Leave the loophole, but make it that you have to take part in the Olympic tournament, not just a random qualifier
Why?
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fonzeee
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Re: Charles Piutau switches to Tonga

Post by fonzeee »

Good stuff :thumbup:

Hope to see him suit up for Tonga at the RWC
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DOB
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Re: Charles Piutau switches to Tonga

Post by DOB »

Gwenno wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 3:38 pm I suspect that this will generate little poach rage.
Why would it?
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fonzeee
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Re: Charles Piutau switches to Tonga

Post by fonzeee »

DOB wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:52 pm
Gwenno wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 3:38 pm I suspect that this will generate little poach rage.
Why would it?
If anything it should be happening more; though granted I haven't really thought it through.

It's less BS than the granny rule at least.
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UncleFB
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Re: Charles Piutau switches to Tonga

Post by UncleFB »

fonzeee wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:57 pm
DOB wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:52 pm
Gwenno wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 3:38 pm I suspect that this will generate little poach rage.
Why would it?
If anything it should be happening more; though granted I haven't really thought it through.

It's less BS than the granny rule at least.
The poach rage will be off the charts if a PI NZer uses it to go the other way.
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Re: Charles Piutau switches to Tonga

Post by fonzeee »

UncleFB wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 11:37 pm
fonzeee wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:57 pm
DOB wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:52 pm
Gwenno wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 3:38 pm I suspect that this will generate little poach rage.
Why would it?
If anything it should be happening more; though granted I haven't really thought it through.

It's less BS than the granny rule at least.
The poach rage will be off the charts if a PI NZer uses it to go the other way.
Well, that's what I meant when I said I hadn't thought it through :lol:

Still like it though. Perhaps it can be refined, like you could only switch to a Tier 2 or 3 country, etc.
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mr bungle
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Re: Charles Piutau switches to Tonga

Post by mr bungle »

UncleFB wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 11:37 pm
fonzeee wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:57 pm
DOB wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:52 pm
Gwenno wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 3:38 pm I suspect that this will generate little poach rage.
Why would it?
If anything it should be happening more; though granted I haven't really thought it through.

It's less BS than the granny rule at least.
The poach rage will be off the charts if a PI NZer uses it to go the other way.
What's Rupeni up to these days?
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mrbrownstone
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Re: Charles Piutau switches to Tonga

Post by mrbrownstone »

Can't begrudge that. Hasn't played for the All Blacks in six years and it would be a shame to lose him to international rugby entirely.
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DOB
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Re: Charles Piutau switches to Tonga

Post by DOB »

UncleFB wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 11:37 pm
fonzeee wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:57 pm
DOB wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:52 pm
Gwenno wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 3:38 pm I suspect that this will generate little poach rage.
Why would it?
If anything it should be happening more; though granted I haven't really thought it through.

It's less BS than the granny rule at least.
The poach rage will be off the charts if a PI NZer uses it to go the other way.
Like the ABs are going to give a day-boo to some Fijian winger who hasn't played a test in 5 years?
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puku
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Re: Charles Piutau switches to Tonga

Post by puku »

DOB wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:12 am
UncleFB wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 11:37 pm
fonzeee wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:57 pm
DOB wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:52 pm
Gwenno wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 3:38 pm I suspect that this will generate little poach rage.
Why would it?
If anything it should be happening more; though granted I haven't really thought it through.

It's less BS than the granny rule at least.
The poach rage will be off the charts if a PI NZer uses it to go the other way.
Like the ABs are going to give a day-boo to some Fijian winger who hasn't played a test in 5 years?
Maybe Bundee O'Aki wants to return home?
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Re: Charles Piutau switches to Tonga

Post by fonzeee »

DOB wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:12 am
UncleFB wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 11:37 pm
fonzeee wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:57 pm
DOB wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:52 pm
Gwenno wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 3:38 pm I suspect that this will generate little poach rage.
Why would it?
If anything it should be happening more; though granted I haven't really thought it through.

It's less BS than the granny rule at least.
The poach rage will be off the charts if a PI NZer uses it to go the other way.
Like the ABs are going to give a day-boo to some Fijian winger who hasn't played a test in 5 years?
Fijian guy gets capped by his home nation at 20 or 21, gets into SR or a European league and kills it, then gets a tap on the shoulder? I can see that.
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mr bungle
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Re: Charles Piutau switches to Tonga

Post by mr bungle »

fonzeee wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:20 am
DOB wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:12 am
UncleFB wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 11:37 pm
fonzeee wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:57 pm
DOB wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:52 pm

Why would it?
If anything it should be happening more; though granted I haven't really thought it through.

It's less BS than the granny rule at least.
The poach rage will be off the charts if a PI NZer uses it to go the other way.
Like the ABs are going to give a day-boo to some Fijian winger who hasn't played a test in 5 years?
Fijian guy gets capped by his home nation at 20 or 21, gets into SR or a European league and kills it, then gets a tap on the shoulder? I can see that.
Nacewa was a perfect example.
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DOB
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Re: Charles Piutau switches to Tonga

Post by DOB »

fonzeee wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:20 am
DOB wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:12 am Like the ABs are going to give a day-boo to some Fijian winger who hasn't played a test in 5 years?
Fijian guy gets capped by his home nation at 20 or 21, gets into SR or a European league and kills it, then gets a tap on the shoulder? I can see that.
Thinking about it, Isa Nacewa would have become AB eligible at just about the same time that he signed for Leinster.
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Re: Charles Piutau switches to Tonga

Post by Zakar »

mr bungle wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:27 am
fonzeee wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:20 am
DOB wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:12 am
UncleFB wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 11:37 pm
fonzeee wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:57 pm

If anything it should be happening more; though granted I haven't really thought it through.

It's less BS than the granny rule at least.
The poach rage will be off the charts if a PI NZer uses it to go the other way.
Like the ABs are going to give a day-boo to some Fijian winger who hasn't played a test in 5 years?
Fijian guy gets capped by his home nation at 20 or 21, gets into SR or a European league and kills it, then gets a tap on the shoulder? I can see that.
Nacewa was a perfect example.
He's the only example.
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mr bungle
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Re: Charles Piutau switches to Tonga

Post by mr bungle »

Zakar wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:53 am
mr bungle wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:27 am
fonzeee wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:20 am
DOB wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:12 am
UncleFB wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 11:37 pm
The poach rage will be off the charts if a PI NZer uses it to go the other way.
Like the ABs are going to give a day-boo to some Fijian winger who hasn't played a test in 5 years?
Fijian guy gets capped by his home nation at 20 or 21, gets into SR or a European league and kills it, then gets a tap on the shoulder? I can see that.
Nacewa was a perfect example.
He's the only example.
Yes, he's that perfect.
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Re: Charles Piutau switches to Tonga

Post by Zakar »

mr bungle wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:54 am
Zakar wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:53 am
mr bungle wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:27 am
fonzeee wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:20 am
DOB wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:12 am

Like the ABs are going to give a day-boo to some Fijian winger who hasn't played a test in 5 years?
Fijian guy gets capped by his home nation at 20 or 21, gets into SR or a European league and kills it, then gets a tap on the shoulder? I can see that.
Nacewa was a perfect example.
He's the only example.
Yes, he's that perfect.
He is, but there's literally no other candidate. Not worth worrying about the scenario repeating.
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Re: Charles Piutau switches to Tonga

Post by DOB »

Zakar wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:56 am
mr bungle wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:54 am
Zakar wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:53 am
mr bungle wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:27 am Nacewa was a perfect example.
He's the only example.
Yes, he's that perfect.
He is, but there's literally no other candidate. Not worth worrying about the scenario repeating.
Isa is, and always will be, perfect in every way. But yeah, the chances of exactly that happening again must be teeny-tiny.

And even if it did, you probably wouldn't begrudge him if he went for it. The 5-year sit-down is a big commitment, and would show that he was serious about it.
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True Blue
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Re: Charles Piutau switches to Tonga

Post by True Blue »

Could have been a 100 test AB but chased the money. For shame.
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Re: Charles Piutau switches to Tonga

Post by CanNZ2000 »

Still think WR should allow a 1 time switch for players who meet the following requirements:

Going from a tier 1 nation to tier 2/3
Has less than 5 caps for the tier 1 nation.
Hasn't played for the tier 1 nation in the past 2 years.
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Re: Charles Piutau switches to Tonga

Post by Ted. »

fonzeee wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 11:47 pm
UncleFB wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 11:37 pm
fonzeee wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:57 pm
DOB wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:52 pm
Gwenno wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 3:38 pm I suspect that this will generate little poach rage.
Why would it?
If anything it should be happening more; though granted I haven't really thought it through.

It's less BS than the granny rule at least.
The poach rage will be off the charts if a PI NZer uses it to go the other way.
Well, that's what I meant when I said I hadn't thought it through :lol:

Still like it though. Perhaps it can be refined, like you could only switch to a Tier 2 or 3 country, etc.

Which is pretty much what NZRU suggested a few years back. The suggestion, voted down by the IRB, was bizarrely met with rage from the NH and accusations of poaching.
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Monkey Magic
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Re: Charles Piutau switches to Tonga

Post by Monkey Magic »

CanNZ2000 wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 1:38 am Still think WR should allow a 1 time switch for players who meet the following requirements:

Going from a tier 1 nation to tier 2/3
Has less than 5 caps for the tier 1 nation.
Hasn't played for the tier 1 nation in the past 2 years.
How many more kiwis and south Africans could Ireland field?
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Re: Charles Piutau switches to Tonga

Post by UncleFB »

Zakar wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:56 am
mr bungle wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:54 am
Zakar wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:53 am
mr bungle wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:27 am
fonzeee wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:20 am

Fijian guy gets capped by his home nation at 20 or 21, gets into SR or a European league and kills it, then gets a tap on the shoulder? I can see that.
Nacewa was a perfect example.
He's the only example.
Yes, he's that perfect.
He is, but there's literally no other candidate. Not worth worrying about the scenario repeating.
Recently yes, but historically no - Bunce, Lam, Bachop etc.

It could be used in the future if say an 18 year old Kiwi kid of Samoan descent gets an offer to play at the RWC and they see the way blocked by the ABs until they're 22/23.
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mr bungle
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Re: Charles Piutau switches to Tonga

Post by mr bungle »

Not forgetting your man crush, Uncle.
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Re: Charles Piutau switches to Tonga

Post by Tehui »

Ted. wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 1:50 am
fonzeee wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 11:47 pm
Perhaps it can be refined, like you could only switch to a Tier 2 or 3 country, etc.
Which is pretty much what NZRU suggested a few years back. The suggestion, voted down by the IRB, was bizarrely met with rage from the NH and accusations of poaching.
An argument that makes little sense to me. Maybe I'm missing something.
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UncleFB
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Re: Charles Piutau switches to Tonga

Post by UncleFB »

mr bungle wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 6:57 am Not forgetting your man crush, Uncle.
Jerome didn’t play for anyone before us. 😀
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Re: Charles Piutau switches to Tonga

Post by mr bungle »

UncleFB wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 11:38 pm
mr bungle wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 6:57 am Not forgetting your man crush, Uncle.
Jerome didn’t play for anyone before us. 😀
I'll let the Iceman know he's been dumped.
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Re: Charles Piutau switches to Tonga

Post by UncleFB »

mr bungle wrote: Thu Mar 04, 2021 1:10 am
UncleFB wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 11:38 pm
mr bungle wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 6:57 am Not forgetting your man crush, Uncle.
Jerome didn’t play for anyone before us. 😀
I'll let the Iceman know he's been dumped.
He's never been my man crush - he's just the best rugby player I've ever seen. Does everyone who rates Richie the best player they've ever seen is he their man crush? ;)

Zinny was probably more of a man crush for me.
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Re: Charles Piutau switches to Tonga

Post by Auckman »

Looks like Samoa won't be making the Olympic 7s again this year. Cheeky Tongans :x
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