Andrew Hore backs IRB's global transfer system

By Simon RobertsBBC Sport Wales
James Hook, Mike Phillips and Craig Mitchell
Wales internationals James Hook, Mike Phillips and Craig Mitchell have all left Wales

Andrew Hore has backed a move to adopt a global transfer market to compensate countries who develop players who are then bought by foreign clubs.

The International Rugby Board has set up a working party to examine the issue of 'player movement' between countries.

Welsh rugby has seen an exodus of homegrown stars, with Mike Phillips, James Hook, Lee Byrne, Luke Charteris and Gethin Jenkins moving to France.

"I think a transfer fee would be good," said Ospreys operations boss Hore.

"Domestically, we could do something and internationally the NZRFU have tabled the idea of a transfer fee. It's whether the IRB [International Rugby Board] has the gumption to take on some of the fights that soccer saw when they imposed something like that.

"It still doesn't stop players going to other countries.

"Do you think French clubs are really going to worry about another 50,000 euros for that young man's development? They won't care.

"The key thing is to get to the young player and most of them want to play for their country so it's better to impose a ruling which says if you leave the country, you don't play for your country.

"I don't think you have a chance of that happening here, so you're better to go for the later and some kind of financial remuneration which is re-invested to develop more young players."

Andrew Hore
New Zealander Hore is chief operations officer at Ospreys

The IRB agreed to carry out a feasibility study at their 'Economics of Rugby Conference' to investigate a transfer system that could see nations compensate other nations that have developed young players who had then subsequently moved abroad in lucrative deals.

Rugby currently does not have a football-style transfer fee system but the new proposal has been tabled by the New Zealand Rugby Union.

New Zealand rugby loses on average 100 players every year to clubs, provinces or regions overseas.

Wales, the 2012 Six Nations Grand Slam champions, has suffered its own player-drain with , Dragons lock Luke Charteris and Ospreys hooker Huw Bennett following fellow Welshmen Hook, Phillips and Byrne to France.

Wing George North, flanker Dan Lydiate and centre Jamie Roberts have also been linked with big-money moves abroad.

Hore, who left an elite development role with the New Zealand Rugby Union to join Ospreys in 2007, believes a global transfer system would see countries with strong development systems rewarded for producing homegrown players.

"I think all countries would welcome not having so many foreign players in their system," he added.

"I know the French rugby union, for example, are really worried about it.

"People say the French and the English unions would be against it but I don't think they necessarily would.

"I think they would be positive towards it because it means local kids come through their club rugby get their opportunities."