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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

Overseas Clearance application form

Overseas Clearance forms below

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International Rugby Board Clearance Form

International Clearance Form
>> Download PDF 231kb

International Clearance dispute Form
>> Download PDF 96kb

International Clearance policy document
>> Download PDF 228kb

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.
Completed clearance applications should be emailed to New Zealand Rugby at

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.

  • The player must complete and sign the IRB clearance form
  • The player then needs to seek the approval of his/her current club, who will send the form on to the Provincial Union.
  • If all is in order, the Provincial Union will approve the clearance by signing the “Provincial Union” section of the clearance form and forwarding a copy to NZR.
  • NZR will record the information and finalise the clearance. NZR then sends the approved IRB clearance form to the new National Union and the departed Provincial Union.
  • Clubs can obtain a copy of the completed form from their Provincial Union.

    Clearance from Another Country to New Zealand

    The process is generally quicker and smoother if this is initiated with the player’s current International Union and completed before the player returns to New Zealand.

    • The player must complete and sign the IRB clearance form and seek the approval of the overseas club that they are playing for.
    • The overseas club will then forward the form onto its National Union, who will sign and stamp the “Current Union” section of the clearance and forward it to NZR.
    • NZR will finalise the clearance by signing and stamping the “New Union” section and sending a copy to the New Zealand Provincial Union and the departed National Union.
    • The new Provincial Union will inform the club that the player has been cleared.
    • The Club should notify the player accordingly.

      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.

      For further information, please refer to the New Zealand Rugby International Clearance Policy, available to download from this website.