Residency rule

DUBLIN – Former Ireland wing Luke Fitzgerald has criticised rugby’s residency policy for making the international game too “diluted”, adding that his own country Ireland has used it to recruit too many foreign-born players. The 29-year-old, who retired through injury before the start of the season, said he supported World Rugby’s decision to review the current rules which allow players to be capped after three years of living in an adopted country.

China bid

SHANGHAI – Alisports is going to invest $US100 million over the next 10 years in an effort to popularise rugby in China, World Rugby announced on Wednesday. The company — the sporting division of Alibaba — revealed its plans at a launch in Shanghai. The cash will be used to set up the first professional leagues for men and women, and national sevens programmes. And a massive mass participation programme will be launched in 10,000 universities and schools in an effort to attract one million new players over five years.

ABs jersey

WELLINGTON – The famous black jersey of NZ rugby is about to get another overhaul. The All Blacks’ jersey will be getting a few changes from supplier Adidas, who will reveal the new strip at their Newmarket store, in Auckland today. “It’s innovating the jersey since 1999 and always taking it to the next level,” Adidas wrote on Twitter. “Are you ready for #BlackReinforced?”

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