The preamble to regulation nine states: "The future development of the sport... would be threatened if a union was not able to select the players it requires," and stresses good faith: "Compliance with not only the letter of the regulation, but also its spirit is integral to achieving its objectives in the best interests of the sport."
9.3 "No club may inhibit, prevent, discourage, disincentivise or render unavailable any player from selection. Any arrangement between a player and a club contrary to this regulation 9.3 is prohibited, including any agreement pursuant to which a player is unable to exercise the right to play for a union."
9.34 Penalties for breaching regulation nine range from a fine and/or deduction of league points to relegation or termination of membership with the union.
While the onus is primarily on the union concerned to lay a complaint, under 9.36 the IRB is able "to initiate an investigation of its own motion". john daniell