Moimoi, Tuiaki await RLWC fate - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Moimoi, Tuiaki await RLWC fate

24/10/2008 08:22:53 PM Comments (0)

Parramatta's Fuifui Moimoi and Taniela Tuiaki of Wests Tigers will have to wait until Monday morning to find out if they can play for Tonga in the rugby league World Cup.

Tonga took their case against the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) to Sydney's Supreme court, in a last ditch bid to play Moimoi and Tuiaki in the World Cup.

Justice Richard White will hand down his decision about the players fate at 9.30am Monday morning, hours before Tonga are due to play Ireland at Parramatta Stadium.

The pair have previously played for Tonga but are ineligible because players are only able to transfer teams once every two years and both did so to play for New Zealand in 2007.

At Sydney's Supreme court, Moimoi and Tuiaki's lawyer, Steven Stanton, said stopping the players from switching to Tonga would be an unfair restraint on their employment.

He said that because the pair will not be selected by Australia and New Zealand, the RLIF rules binding them were unfair.

"What we say is this: having been nominated by Tonga and no longer required by New Zealand ... we submit that there are no nations competing for these players," Stanton said.

"The reality is they were not selected by Australia or New Zealand."

RLIF's lawyer Alan Sullivan argued that the RLIF rules prohibiting players from switching teams are not restrictive and protect the integrity of the game.

"It would be a solemn farce if players were to (play) in New Zealand, then Tonga, then Australia," he said.

"Every other team in the competition has had to abide by (these rules)."

"What Tonga is seeking is to have a different playing field."

Sullivan argued there was no restraint of trade as both players were still being paid.

"On the evidence, Mr Moimoi has had significant gain and an increased salary," he said.

"What we say is on a practical level there is no restraint of trade.

"On the evidence before your honour ... the plaintiff has an extremely weak case."

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