Kenya U20 International Michele Brighetti has been called to the Italy U20 squad for the upcoming Six Nations. He played for Kenya at Barthes Cup and World Junior Trophy in Brazil.
However, this raised questions in Kenya as he had already represented Chipu, the national U20 team.
World Rugby eligibility rules, regulation 8, allow a player to switch nationalities as far as he has not made a senior appearance.
This means Brighetti, who went to Pembroke School in Kenya and Sedbergh, can still represent Kenya at senior level if he doesn’t play for Italy.
Head Coach Paul Odera confirmed “he’s gone”. Interestingly, Kenya Rugby Union also congratulated the young lad for the move.
Brighetti has a dual citizenship meaning he had two choices to choose from.
There are four ways a player can be eligible to represent a country at international level. They are:
- They were born in the country.
- They have a parent or grandparent who was born in the country.
- They have lived in the country for 36 consecutive months (three years) to qualify on residency immediately before playing.
- They have completed ten years of cumulative residence in the country before playing.
According to Rugby World, Captured is the term used when a player becomes tied to one country and can no longer represent another nation on the international stage.
The senior 15-a-side national representative team of a union. This is quite simple and basically means playing in a Test match, eg England v Italy in the Six Nations.
A Player is deemed to have played for the senior fifteen-a-side National Representative Team or the next senior fifteen-a-side National Representative Team of a Union if:
He is selected to represent the Under 20s National Representative Team of a Union which has been pre-designated as that Union’s next senior fifteen-a-side National Representative Team and the Player is part of the team which participates in an International Match as part of the World Rugby Junior World Championships, World Rugby Junior World Rugby Trophy