Connacht star Bundee Aki may be among those considering an international switch to Ireland, but the rules which govern international eligibility could be changed soon.

Aki has been a revelation since joining Pat Lam's side and will be eligible to play for Ireland next year after completing the mandatory three-year residency period, along with provincial team-mate Jake Heenan, Munster's Tyler Bleyendaal and Ulster's South Africa born prop Wiehan Herbst.

New Zealand-born Heenan has confirmed that he held talks with Irish head coach Joe Schmidt after he became eligible to play for Ireland in June.

Aki has yet to confirm whether or not he intends to declare for Ireland but concerns have been raised over the relatively short residency period required before a player can change their allegiance.

Northern hemisphere countries are not the only ones taking advantage of the rules, with New Zealand and others regularly bulking up their sides with converted South Sea islanders. Those rules could be tightened up, however, after a review by rugby's governing body.           

Earlier this year, newly-elected World Rugby vice-chairman and former Argentina scrumhalf Augustin Pichot spoke out against the three-year rule and chairman Bill Beaumont said today that the situation was being reviewed.

"We are constantly reviewing all our laws and this is one we are looking at," Beaumont told reporters at the World Rugby Conference on Monday.

"My colleague (Pichot) does have a passion about it. It's something we need to keep looking at as there are different eligibility rules for the Olympics and other sports.

"We consult the unions, we make the recommendations but they decide. We'll put a group together within World Rugby, elected members and external too as we don't want to be too insular. It will be discussed during executive meeting on Wednesday and might go to Council after that discussion.

"All 126 unions will be consulted but if there is going to be any change it would be in 12 months or so."

World Rugby's CEO Brett Gosper said there had been little appetite to change the residency rule to five years when the issue was raised 18 months ago.

"This time the approach will be more holistic," he said. "We'll be looking at eligibility, residency, the grandparent rule, player movement, the Olympics etc. We might end up in the same place but we may not."

Beaumont said the other key issue he is desperately trying to address, with limited success, is settling on a unified world calendar for the sport.

With domestic leagues taking a conflicting approach to some unions, and something of a gulf between southern and northern hemispheres, finding common ground has proved difficult for years.

"I came in thinking it was something I could sort our pretty quickly, but I found otherwise," said Beaumont, who took over as chairman in May.

"It's challenging. Emotions run high but everyone agrees we have to find a solution.

"I'm hopeful that by early next year we'll reach a solution but there is no easy answer. Number one of course is player welfare, we can't play more than once a week, we have to have certain rest periods and it's essential that welfare is factored in first."  

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