Ineligible Smith cut from France Six Nations squad

David Smith was called up by France and then released in one afternoon

Samoan born winger David Smith was called into the France Six Nations squad on Sunday only to be cut from the squad hours later after it was found that he ineligible.

The twenty-nine-year-old former Toulon winger who now plays for Castres was called up with Stade Francais full-back Djibril Camara to replace injured wings Teddy Thomas and Marvin O’Connor.

However hours later the French rugby federation (FFR) realised that Smith was in fact not eligible to play for France, despite having been resident for long enough, as he played a Rugby Sevens match for New Zealand in 2008.

World Rugby’s Regulation 8.2 says: “A Player who has played for the senior… National Representative Sevens Team of a Union is not eligible to play for… another Union.”

A French federation official assured AFP of being in possession of documents attesting to Smith’s eligibility but other sources claimed the FFR had not been diligent enough in studying those documents.

Smith joined up with the national team at its Marcoussis training complex near Paris on Sunday night.

“When he arrived, David told us he’d played an international Sevens tournament in Edinburgh in 2008 for New Zealand,” said an FFR statement.

“For that reason, David is not eligible for the French national XV team due to the international regulations and will be released on Monday morning.”

France have yet to name the new replacement.

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