Scottish Rugby's policy on international clearance

SDR 4.2: Clearance to Play in another Union

1. The Scottish Rugby Union (Scottish Rugby) acknowledges that it is obliged to comply with those Regulations Relating to the Game issued from time to time by World Rugby (WR). 

2. Scottish Rugby recognises that WR has issued a specific Regulation in respect of Player Status, Player Contracts and Player Movement (WR Regulation 4).

3. The Domestic Regulation set out below relates to Player Movement into and out of Scottish Rugby’s area of jurisdiction.

Incoming Players

4. All players competing in competitions organised, recognised or sanctioned by Scottish Rugby require to be appropriately Cleared to play rugby in Scotland. In this context a player shall be considered to be Cleared if:

  1. He is a player who has played all of his rugby to date for Scottish clubs/schools; or
  2. He is a player with a current International Clearance to play his rugby in Scotland issued in accordance with WR Regulation 4; or
  3. He is a player with a current certificate of Dual Registration issued in accordance with WR Regulation 4, one party to which is Scottish Rugby.

5. Incoming Players who are still in primary or secondary education are not required to seek International Clearance.

6. Incoming Players in tertiary education may seek Dual Registration to play in the territories of both theier Home Union and Scottish Rugby.

7. Incoming Players playing for a Representative Team or as part of an Incoming Tour authorised by Scottish Rugby are not required to seek International Clearance.

8. Scottish Rugby shall be entitled to make enquiries of Incoming Players, and their proposed Scottish club, as to the player's legal entitlement to play and/or receive benefits from playing in the United Kingdom, and may defer approval of the International Clearance request on this basis. It shall be a specific breach of this Regulation for a player to play, or a club or team to field or play a Player whilst not legally entitled to do so due to the provision of payments or other benefits. 

9. Incoming Players shall on request provide Scotish Rugby with details of their previous disciplinary record. Scottish Rugby reserves the right to validate such information. Scottish Rugby may consider on a case by case basis whether to grant International Clearance to any Incoming Player under current disciplinary suspension. In such circumstance Scottish Rugby may either:

  1. Grant approval subject to the player serving the remainder of his sanction in Scotland;
  2. Defer approval until completion of the sanction imposed by the other Union;
  3. Grant approval subject to such additional conditions as may be deemed appropriate by the Union’s Disciplinary Manager; or
  4. Refuse to grant International Clearance.   

10. Where Clearance is either refused or where any additional conditions are imposed, the Incoming Player shall have a right of Appeal to the Union’s independent Disciplinary Committee. Such Appeal shall require to be made in writing within seven days of any notification of refusal or imposition of additional conditions being issued on behalf of Scottish Rugby.

11. International Clearance to play rugby in Scotland does not of itself constitute registration to participate in any National Competition organised by Scottish Rugby. Permission to participate shall be governed by the relevant National Competition Rules.

Outgoing Players

12. Any player currently registered in Scotland, either under the National Competition Regulations or in accordance with Scottish Rugby’s age grade policies, must seek International Clearance to play in any competition organised, recognised or sanctioned by another Union. The only exceptions are:

  1. Where the player has been selected to play for a Representative Team;
  2. Where the competition is a cross-border club competition featuring the player’s Scottish club which has been sanctioned by Scottish Rugby (e.g. the University BUSA leagues) or is part of a Tour approved by Scottish Rugby;
  3. Players holding a current certificate of Dual Registration, one party to which is Scottish Rugby and the second party is the Union in which he intends to play; or
  4.  Where, in accordance with the WR Regulation, clearance is not required under the other Union’s domestic regulations.

13. Application for International Clearance shall be made using the Application for Clearance to Play within another National Union form provided by Scottish Rugby. The onus shall be on the player to ensure that the form is completed and submitted to Scottish Rugby on a timeous basis.

14. Scottish Rugby shall be under no obligation to process any Clearance application until both the player and his current club have both confirmed that there are no unresolved contractual matters between the parties. Scottish Rugby reserves the right to seek clarification from the player and/or his current club with respect to any such matters. Applicants are reminded of the provisions of WR Regulation 4.5.2 with regard to the required form of such player agreements.

15. Scottish Rugby will not provide International Clearance in respect of any player subject to an unspent disciplinary sanction in excess of five weeks. Where any unspent sanction is five weeks or less Scottish Rugby may grant Clearance provided the player and his new Union agree that the unspent sanction will be served in the new Union.

16. Scottish Rugby reserves the right to notify the player’s new Union of his history of disciplinary sanction. Where Scottish Rugby intends to notify another Union of any disciplinary sanction, other than a current unspent sanction of 5 weeks or less, the player shall be notified in advance and afforded an opportunity to Appeal against such course of action. Such Appeal shall be in writing and shall require to be made within seven days of the notification of Scottish Rugby’s intention to provide information to another Union being issued.  

Disciplinary Matters

17. It shall be an offence subject to misconduct proceedings to participate or to encourage others to participate in any competition organised, recognised or sanctioned by Scottish Rugby without International Clearance being obtained where required. Such misconduct proceeding shall be separate and in addition to any process conducted in respect of the National Competition Rules.

18. Any disciplinary procedures arising under the Regulation shall be conducted in accordance with the Misconduct procedures set out within Scottish Rugby’s Rules for Disciplinary Procedures.