France recognised as Tier 1 in Wheelchair Rugby League
The Board of International Rugby League (IRL) has elevated France to Tier 1 status in the wheelchair discipline of the sport. This change will mean that players who represent France at full international level will be unable to play for other Tier 1 nations, currently England, Australia, and New Zealand and vice versa. Players will still be able to elect to play for other nations outside of Tier 1 subject to the normal eligibility rules. The Tier 1 nations for the male and female running game remain unaltered as Australia, England, and New Zealand.
The decision was made after the Board took advice from the IRL Wheelchair Advisory Group (WHAG) and is supported by its chair, Pippa Britton, who commented; “The members of WHAG were asked to examine the eligibility rules as they apply to the wheelchair game and it was felt that France, as the current World Cup holders should be recognised as a Tier 1 nation. We were very supportive of this position as it protects the integrity of the major nations and supports the development of other nations.”
The change to the eligibility rules is effective immediately.