New proof may sway deliberations in Spain World Cup resolution

A call relating to Spain’s banishment from the Rugby World Cup might be showed within the subsequent 24 hours, RugbyMove understands, and mounting proof suggesting the ineligible participant on the centre of the furore, Gavid van den Berg, was once smartly acutely aware of the necessities to play global rugby may paintings within the Spanish Federation’s favour.

Having completed in 2nd position during the last two years’ value of European qualification tournaments, Spain have been awarded a place within the 2023 Rugby World Cup in Pool B along the likes of South Africa, Ireland and Scotland in March.

After it was once found out that van den Berg, a reserve prop who Spain has fielded in two sizeable wins over the Netherlands, was once now not eligible to play take a look at rugby for Los Leons, then again, the group have been stripped in their issues from the fixtures and fell to fourth at the general desk – which noticed them drop out of the qualifying race. At the time the punishment was once introduced via World Rugby, the committee concluded that Van den Berg had now not intentionally misled the Spanish union, which was once decided as a key consider why there was once little respite for Spain.

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RugbyMove has won proof, then again, that confirms the South African-born front-rower was once certainly acutely aware of the eligibility necessities, and was once concerned within the procedure to vary his passport copies, which might turn out important in Spain’s enchantment to have their position within the World Cup reinstated.

The legit listening to was once hung on 16 June and World Rugby’s appeals committee has been deliberating over their sizeable resolution for the simpler a part of the previous week.

RugbyMove understands that one of the crucial primary issues of dialogue all through the enchantment come with Van den Berg’s justification for spending such a lot time out of doors of Spain all through the primary of his 3 years of qualification (and whether or not this constituted ‘exceptional circumstance’) and whether or not, given the instances, the 10-point penalty passed to Los Leones was once suitable for the breach within the rules.

In earlier instances the place eligibility rules had been violated, corresponding to all through the ‘Grannygate’ scandal of the early 2000s, the punishments have been rather insignificant – on no account at the identical degree as successfully disqualifying a facet from participating within the Rugby World Cup.

Further, the appeals committee should additionally weigh up whether or not the collective effort of the whole thing of the Spanish squad – in addition to the quite a lot of coaches, administrative and give a boost to stuff at the back of the group – will have to be so considerably penalised for the acts of 1 person.

As a non-Spanish-born participant, Van den Berg was once best eligible to play for Spain if he had certified thru 36 months of consecutive residency within the Iberian country. Throughout that residency duration, not more than two months a 12 months might be spent out of doors the rustic, except there have been outstanding instances.

Although Van den Berg had spent 3 years residing in Spain ahead of his first take a look at cap in 2021, he was once discovered via World Rugby’s preliminary investigation to have now not been based totally within the nation for no less than 10 months in each and every of the ones 12-month cycles (he spent 127 days offshore in his first 12 months) – in spite of at the start being cleared to play for Los Leones via each the Spanish Federation and World Rugby themselves after copies of his passport have been edited.

Having featured best in two blowout fits received at a canter via Los Leones, Van den Berg’s have an effect on on Spain’s effects all through their qualification procedure was once negligible at best possible.

If Spain’s enchantment have been to be upheld – and the punishment diminished – they may qualify for his or her first World Cup since 1999.


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