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 the International Rugby Board (iRB). 

2. Scottish Rugby recognises that the iRB has issued a specific Regulation in respect of Player Status, Player Contracts and Player Movement (iRB 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 iRB Regulation 4; or
  3. He is a player with a current certificate of Dual Registration issued in accordance with iRB Regulation 4, one party to which is Scottish Rugby.

5. Scottish Rugby will not clear any incoming player to play in Scotland who is not in possession of appropriate clearance documentation from his current Union.

6. Scottish Rugby does not require incoming players under the age of 18 and who are still in primary or secondary education to seek international clearance. Such players are, however, required to provide Scottish Rugby with details of their previous disciplinary record on request. Scottish Rugby reserves the right to validate such information with the player’s former Union(s).

7. Scottish Rugby will consider on a case by case basis whether to provide clearance to incoming players 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 clearance.   

8. Where clearance is either refused or where any additional conditions are imposed, the 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.

9. 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

10. Any player currently registered in Scotland, either under the National Competition Regulations or in accordance with Scottish Rugby’s age grade policies, must seek 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 representative rugby;
  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. British & Irish Cup) 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 iRB Regulation, clearance is not required under the other Union’s domestic regulations.

11. Application for 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.

12. 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 iRB Regulation 4.5.2 with regard to the required form of such player agreements.

13. Scottish Rugby will not provide 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.

14. 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

15. 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.

16. 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.