Days after World Rugby changed player eligibility rules, I asked Samoan rugby star Dan Leo how effective those changes would be. He had a better idea…
Bringing Super Rugby to the Pacific Islands would do more to prevent the talent drain than increasing residency requirements to five years – and will improve the competition, former Samoa captain Dan Leo believes.
“That would definitely be part of the solution,” he said. “It would give guys a reason to stay on the Islands. At the moment we don’t have professional rugby, so there’s no reason to stay there.
“The Super Rugby product has dwindled in the past few years. When you look at it, they’ve watered down the product and made it such a wide competition in terms of distances involved. And in the middle of it all, the closest place to Australia and New Zealand is the Pacific Islands. We have probably the strongest talent pool, too.
“It doesn’t make sense that the Islands have been overlooked for so long. But hopefully, as mainstream media pick up on that, it will start to change…”