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Scotland's Shingler appeal rejected

Steven Shingler is tied to Wales and ineligible to play Test rugby for Scotland, the International Rugby Board's council has ruled in a unanimous decision.

Shingler was judged by the IRB to have been "captured" by Wales after playing in an Under-20 international against France in 2011. The eligibility row was sparked when 20-year-old Shingler, a fly-half or centre, was included in Scotland's RBS 6 Nations squad earlier this year.

The Scottish Rugby Union appealed against the original decision that Shingler was tied to Wales, made by the IRB's regulations committee. But that appeal was thrown out at an IRB council meeting on Tuesday.

An IRB statement said: "Under the regulations committee decision Shingler was deemed to have been captured by Wales, having represented the Wales Under-20 team against the France Under-20 team in a 2011 Six Nations fixture.

"Following the Scottish Rugby Union's appeal of the Shingler decision, the IRB council considered and determined the matter during its annual meeting in Dublin. Council, having considered all the facts and having heard submissions from the SRU and WRU legal representatives, dismissed the appeal and upheld the decision of the IRB regulations committee."

The decisive factor was that both Wales and France had designated the Under-20s as their second senior national representative team for that match.

Andy Robinson initially selected Shingler on the understanding he qualified for Scotland through his mother, who was born in Dumfries. Although Shingler had represented Wales Under 20s, the SRU argued he had never signed a declaration tying his international eligibility to Wales.

Robinson expressed his disappointment over the failed appeal, and told Press Association Sport: "The Scottish Rugby Union have backed Steven and backed myself in the decision that we made and it's unfortunate that we lost the case. I really feel for the player, because he made what was probably a difficult decision at the time to choose to play for Scotland.

"He believed he was qualified to do that and put all his eggs in that basket and it's been taken away from him. That's disappointing." Asked whether the SRU and Shingler will take the case further, Robinson replied: "That will be for Steven to now consider what he wants to do."

WRU Head of Rugby Joe Lydon said: "It was vitally important that the WRU defended its stance over this issue. It was certainly not just about the individual player concerned but a case of needing total clarity on the situation, both retrospectively and going forward."

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