Super Rugby
SANZAR opt to change eligibility law
ESPNscrum Staff
November 15, 2011
The Stormers' Schalk Brits exploits a gap, Stormers v Crusaders, Super Rugby Semi-Final, Newlands, Cape Town, South Africa, July 2, 2011
Brits was unable to prevent the Stormers crashing out to the Crusaders © Getty Images

SANZAR has opted to change the loophole in Super Rugby's laws which allowed the Stormers to bring in Schalk Brits as an 'injury joker' prior to their semi-final with the Crusaders last year.

The Stormers were facing a back-row crisis with Pieter Louw, Duane Vermeulen and Siya Kolisi all injured and called on the Saracens hooker to fill the void. Super Rugby rules stated that a player was allowed to be brought in at that short notice providing he was not being played in his primary position - a stipulation which Brits' inclusion aligned with. But SANZAR CEO Greg Peters has said they while refraining from making wholesale changes, they will alter that rule for the 2012 competition.

"We won't be making substansive changes, but there is definitely the situation regarding eligibility that we will look at," Peters told Supersport. "We want to change the current loophole in the regulations that enables players to play in the finals series having not contributed in the league stages.

"What we are looking for is a declaration of a squad of players that will be eligible through the entire season, and if anyone else needs to come in there needs to be injury proof. Apart from that, to play in the finals series, you need to be eligible, playing in the country by a certain date to qualify.

"Teams will now announce a squad of players who will all be eligible throughout the competition, and they can then bring other players in until the cut-off date. After that, players can only be brought in if they have played four games, or as an injury replacement if they are in the country by a certain date.

"The principle is we don't want to see competition-hopping, we want teams to play through. We don't want the example of this year's series when the Stormers exploited that loophole. We say good on them, but now we are closing that one."

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