Monday, November 9, 2009

Test Rugby: Portugal Struggle For its Top Players

Portugal struggled to get it's top France-based players to play international rugby on Saturday according to Head Coach Tomaz Moraiz. "All professional players operating in France are not released by the clubs. In fact, some of them are playing soon [ for their French clubs], but they are professionals, the law protects the clubs".
Regarding the unavailability of Cristian Spachuk, "We have no news from his club. We await the response by the French federation, and if it does not come, we will act legally," he said, explaining that even David Penalva was unavailable for the next tests against Argentina 'A' and Tonga, siting 'family reasons'.

2009.11.07 Portugal v Namibia
Portugal struggled against Namibia without some top players. Image thanks to

So much for the November window which, according to the IRB, commits all clubs to release players for international duty. How can the IRB enforce this ruling? What are your thoughts?


  1. Its a crying shame the IRB doesn't step in for these Tier 2 and 3 nations - while arranging the IRB Nations tournament, American Championship is all admirable they are no good if the best players aren't available. The way to vitalise markets such as Portugal, Canada and Russia is to have their teams strongly competing in Test matches - everyone loves a winner!

  2. The question is, why doesn't the IRB step in? What actual powers do they have to enforce clubs to release players?
    Moraiz talkes about legal action. What actual can he take?