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Monday, September 6, 1999 Published at 08:23 GMT 09:23 UK

Sport: Rugby Union

Jones-Hughes cleared to play for Wales

Jason Jones-Hughes: Promising young centre

Australian centre Jason Jones-Hughes has been cleared by the International Rugby Board to join Wales' World Cup squad.

The player was initially barred from representing the country of his father's birth because he had represented the Australian Barbarians - the Wallabies' de facto second team.

IRB laws state that a player who has represented one country at international level cannot then represent a second.

[ image: Jones-Hughes could partner Welsh veteran Scott Gibbs]
Jones-Hughes could partner Welsh veteran Scott Gibbs
But the ban was overturned at a special meeting of the IRB in Dublin on Sunday.

Welsh Rugby Union chairman Denis Gethin said he was delighted with the ruling which would be a boost to the host's preparations for the Cup.

The Australian Rugby Union is likely to be unhappy with the result as it fought an increasingly bitter battle to prevent the promising young centre from defecting to the Welsh.

Wales coach Graham Henry had been given extra time to name his complete World Cup squad in order to allow for the possible inclusion of Jones-Hughes.

Wales go into the World Cup with the best pre-tournament record of any competing nation, having beaten England, South Africa and France twice and handed Argentina a series whitewash at home.

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