Top 14 clubs pressuring Pacific Islanders to miss Rugby World Cup

Top 14 clubs pressuring Pacific Islanders to miss Rugby World Cup

Samoa head coach Steve Jackson has revealed that Samoan and Tongan players are being pressured into missing the Rugby World Cup by their Top 14 clubs.

In an interview with, Jackson said he has already had players tell him they've had to make themselves unavailable.

"Players get pressure from clubs and this is their living," Jackson told Stuff.


"So what happens is you are tearing a player between their club and country. 


"It's just not fair on the players to make those decisions.


"We'd love to have them but there are certain players who won't be coming to the World Cup, purely because of those reasons."

"It's not because they don't want to come," Jackson said. 


"But the financial benefits for them to stay and the pressure from their clubs overseas is pretty high.


Tonga assistant coach Pita Alatini says they're also in the same position.


"That's the challenge we're always going to have, where players get offered a better contract to stay on, rather than to go to the World Cup," the former All Black said.


World Rugby's regulations state that clubs must release their players for test rugby, including World Cups and clubs can't publicly insist their players don't go to the World Cup but there have been previous instances where it has been made clear to internationals that their future employment is at risk if they choose country before club.


The Top 14 season will run through the World Cup this year.



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