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 Overseas Clearances

What is an International Clearance?

Clearance from New Zealand to Another Country

Clearance from Another Country to New Zealand

Reasons why a Clearance can be Withheld or Not Required

The Form
 

What is an International Clearance? 

International Clearances are a requirement under the International Rugby Board (IRB) Regulations which apply to all countries that are members of the IRB.

A player is not eligible to play rugby in another country at any level until they have a valid International Clearance.  This could mean that a club or Provincial Rugby Union that plays a player could face sanctions such as loss of points.

Clearance from New Zealand to Another Country

The clearance process is simple when done correctly, however, it can take some time if the process has not been followed correctly before the time of the player’s departure.

  • Player completes International Rugby Board (IRB) clearance form

    The player must complete the IRB clearance form and sign the bottom of the first page where space is given.  The form can be downloaded below, or it can be obtained from the club, Provincial Rugby Union or the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU). 

    If the player can not complete the form personally he must allocate a signatory person e.g parents or agent.

    Most National Unions will not accept a IRB clearance form without the following fields completed (New Zealand Rugby Union included):
    • Name of Provincial Rugby Union and club where the player is registered currently 
    • Name of National Union where player is affiliated 
    • National Union where the player proposed to register and play (“New Union”)
    • New club (if known)

An IRB clearance form that is sent to the National Unions without stating what Union the player is coming from and going to cannot be processed.
 

  • Current rugby club signs and approves the form

Once the club has approved the form they, or the player, must obtain sign approval by the Provincial Rugby Union (if applicable).

  • Provincial Rugby Union signs and approves the form

    Once the player has completed the first page of the IRB clearance form they must obtain signed approval by their current Provincial Rugby Union. There is a space provided on the second page of the form.
     
  • Provincial Rugby Union sends the form to the NZRU

    Once the Provincial Rugby Union has approved the clearance they will then send the completed IRB clearance form to the NZRU.  The NZRU will record the information on the form and finalise the Clearance.

     
  • NZRU sends the form to New National Rugby Union

    The New Zealand Rugby Union send the approved IRB clearance form to the new National Union and the departed Provincial Rugby Union.

    The NZRU will not send a copy of the IRB clearance form to the clubs due to the volume of clearance forms.  Clubs can obtain a copy of the completed form from their Provincial Rugby Union. 

Clearance from Another Country to New Zealand

The clearance process is simple when done correctly, however, it can take some time if not done well before the time of the player’s departure.

  • Player completes International Rugby Board (IRB) clearance form

    The player must complete the IRB clearance form and sign the bottom of the first page where space is given.  The form can be downloaded below, or it can be obtained from the club/Provincial Rugby Union or National Union.  

    Some countries have different layouts to the forms and may not provide a space for the player to sign.  This must be done regardless of designated area.  A player cannot be cleared without that player's approval.

    If the player can not complete the form personally he must allocate a signatory person e.g parents or agent.

    Most National Unions will not accept a IRB clearance form without the following fields completed (NZRU included):
    • Name of Provincial Rugby Union and club with which the player is registered currently 
    • Name of National Union with which player is affiliated 
    • National National Union within which the player proposed to register and play (“New Union”)
    • New club (if known)

An IRB clearance form that is sent to the National Unions without stating what Union the player is coming from and going to cannot be processed.

  • Current rugby club signs and approves the form

    Once the player has completed the first page of the IRB clearance form they must obtain signed approval by their club. There is a space provided on the second page of the clearance form.
  • Provincial Rugby Union (if applicable) signs and approves the form

    Once the club has approved the form they, or the player, must obtain sign approval by the Provincial Rugby Union (if applicable).
     
  • Provincial Rugby Union (if applicable) sends the form to the National Union

    Once the Provincial Rugby Union has approved the clearance they will then send the completed IRB clearance form to the National Union.  The National Union will record the information on the form and finalise the clearance.
     
  • The National Union sends the form to NZRU

    The National Union will send the approved IRB clearance form to the NZRU and the departed Provincial Rugby Union.

    Once the NZRU has received the IRB clearance form it is recorded into New Zealand Rugby Union membership database, approved and sent to the Provincial Rugby Union.

    The Provincial Rugby Union will then forward the approved forms on to the club and begin the registration process (if not already registered). 

Reasons Why a Clearance can be Withheld or Not Required 

  • If the player has not fulfilled any of their obligations including unpaid debts under their contract with the club or Union (IRB Reg 4.6.4) the clearance can be declined or withheld. 
  • The player played in another country and then returned, however, that player did not apply for an inbound clearance at that time.  When the player applies for an outbound clearance again, it can be declined until that player completes the inbound clearance from their previous National Union.
  •  If a player can not be found in the New Zealand Rugby Union database then the player will not require a clearance out to play in another country. He will be assumed as a non-New Zealand registered player. 
  • If the IRB clearance form has not been signed by the player, club, Provincial Rugby Union or National Union.

The Form

To view this file you will need Adobe Reader.

International Rugby Board Clearance Form

Inbound (coming into New Zealand)
>> Download PDF 74kb

Outbound (leaving New Zealand)
>> Download PDF 73kb

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