When the IRB decided to close the door on internationals appearing for multiple nations like players such as the Bachop brothers, Shane Howarth, Inga Tuigamala did in the past for example. They came up with a criteria that locked players to their nations for good.
This was that if a player represented their national side at either 15's or 7's, they were locked to their nation for good. As well as that, they also made a rule that a nominated "second team" also locked players to their nation.
As not all nations have A teams, this means that some nations have made their junior U20 teams able to lock players to one nation. This was what prevented Steven Shingler representing Scotland last year. The ability to nominate junior teams itself looks dubious as a player gets locked to Wales by playing U20, but not if they represent New Zealand U20 for example.
But the strangest thing about the nominations for the designated "second teams" is that some nations have managed to nominate sides playing domestic competitions. Which seems very dubious.
For example, according to the IRB's complete list of nations designated "second teams" since 2003, it seems that Argentina have nominated the Pampas XV that play in the Vodacom Cup and Romania have nominated the Bucharest Wolves that play in the Amlin Challenge Cup.
Both those teams are developmental sides to help domestic based players in those countries. But the system simply doesn't seem to make sense.
|Hanno Dirksen in|
Why is for example an Argentine or Romania locked to their nation for good for playing in matches against the Griffons or Agen for example in domestic competitions. When at the same time, the USA developed back Hanno Dirksen, played for the actual USA side back in 2008 in a friendly against Munster.
Dirksen was not locked to the USA after that as it was an uncapped match, and since has changed course in his career after being taken to Wales by the man who gave him his US debut Scott Johnson took him to Wales with him when he left his unsuccessful short stint as USA coach. Dirksen turned down call ups to the USA side since (although his brother Cornelius has debuted for the Eagles), and now seems destined to play for Wales where he has been since 2009 and qualifies for the national side in 2014.
What doesn't make sense is how some players can be locked to a nation whilst playing domestic competitions with developmental sides. But Dirksen isn't locked because his match was against Munster. Even though he was actually playing for a side a lot closer to the USA side than Pampas XV is to Argentina, in a side including the likes of Todd Clever, Mike Petri and Chris Wyles.