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Henry Speight, the wing player for the Brumbies will be available for selection for the Australia Rugby Team from the 11th of September this year, according to a ruling by the governing body of international rugby, the International Rugby Board or the IRB.
The calls for Speight to be selected for the Wallabies squad have been growing for some time now and intensified over the last couple of years after the wing man put in performances that just went from good to better to the best in the land and the rugby fans Down Under were eager for the Wallabies to tie down one of the best wing players currently playing in the country.
The ruling of the IRB means Speight will be available for selection for the Australia Rugby Team in time for the Rugby Championship games, where he could make four appearances as well as last Bledisloe Cup match against the arch enemy New Zealand on the 18th of October scheduled to be held in Brisbane.
A panel of experts appointed by the IRB ruled that Speight is yet to fulfill the criteria of continued residency for thirty six months, which he will do in September and as a result, he doesn’t qualify to play for the national team straightaway.
According to the laws, a player needs to spend at least three years in a country to be eligible for call up to the national team and the Fijian born wing player is still some way off it.
Head honchos of Australia Rugby had hopes he would be eligible to play for the country in their autumns tour of the United Kingdom, Italy and Ireland but since he spent one year playing in New Zealand, he will have to wait a few more extra months for his debut.
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Rugby Football Union or RFU Championship club the London Welsh are considering a rebranding of the club to establish their identity with Oxford.
Bleddyn Philips, the chairman of the club says that there have been talks with some senior figures within the club as they consider a rebranding of the club as they attempt to establish a strong connection with their Oxfordshire base. However, at the same time, the club is not willing to eradicate tradition that has dictated the club for the last 130 years.
The club moved from Richmond to Oxford last season after reaching the Aviva Premiership but has since been relegated back to the RFU Championship. And although they have maintained their base at the county, the crowd count has been very poor since the drop.
According to Philips, the challenge for them is to come up with an identity that the people of Oxford will readily connect with.
The Exiles are still to face defeat this season and are in fine form as they look to bounce straight back to the Aviva Premiership but they have not been able to attract the expected crowds of 3,000-4,000 with merely 1,200 people being the largest crowd that witnessed their win against the Cornish Pirates.
Kelvin Bryon, the vice chairman of the club released a press statement in October stating his disappointing at not being able to attract the crowds while Philips has maintained that they are open to ideas about creating a new identity for the club that will be readily identifiable with the region without turning their back on the huge history that the club has.
Philips maintained that the London Welsh are a global brand and it is important that the traditions be adhered to but they are also open to slight changes to their identity.
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