Wynne Gray: Hard to find sympathy for David Smith

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David Smith. Photo / Getty Images.
David Smith. Photo / Getty Images.

David Smith had more international choices than most so it's hard to generate sympathy for his test rugby dream being dashed in France.

Residency qualified the 29-year-old wing for France and he was picked to debut this weekend against Wales when more non-Gallic sounding wings, Teddy Thomas and Marvin O'Connor were injured.

Selection in the NZ sevens side in 2008 though has counted against Smith's Tricolores test hopes.

That year the sevens rather than the under 20 side confirmed NZ players nationality so Smith cannot represent another test side unless World Rugby amends their rules.

He was spoiled for choice. He could have joined Samoa, stayed in NZ to pursue test glory or wiped both of those and tried his luck elsewhere as he has in France.

That's far more opportunities than most players get so finding pity for Smith is not natural but this time we should have some compassion for him.

Sevens rugby and 15-aside are totally different games and it does not make sense that playing an abbreviated form of the game eight years ago for one nation should disqualify Smith, if he has completed his residency, from playing test rugby for another country.

Players picked for test squads or a national under 20 side have accepted that national status and should not be eligible for another nation.

Those who play sevens, touch or any other hybrid form of the game should not be disqualified from representing another country in the unabridged version of the game.

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