Overseas player law likely to be scrapped, says rugby ruling body
IN the midst of a self-confessed “rebuild phase”, Rugby Australia will review its socalled “Giteau Law” after pledging to usher in an exciting new era for the Wallabies.
With a new coach coming and the chairman going, changes are afoot at RA and the next one may be to scrap the rule allowing overseasbased players with 60 Tests under their belt to remain eligible for national selection.
Michael Cheika had the controversial concept introduced in his second year at the helm in order to have Matt Giteau, primarily, and Drew Mitchell back for the 2015 Rugby World Cup. But it’s also led to an exodus of talent and means the likes of inspirational Wallabies vice-captain Samu Kerevi, now plying his trade in Japan, is unavailable because he’s only played 29 Tests.
Scott Johnson, RA’s director of rugby, said Australia’s governing body would revisit the Giteau Law on completion of a review into the Wallabies’ World Cup campaign.
“It’s not just about thinking what it does for Rugby Australia, it’s about thinking about the changes that are happening in the wider international landscape, what other countries are doing around their rules, where competitions land and timing of those competitions,” Johnson said at the unveiling of New Zealander Dave Rennie as new coach.
South Africa won the World Cup last month with a stack of overseas-based players. “It shows it can be done,” Johnson said.
RA chief Raelene Castle also pulled no punches.
“In a rebuild phase. That’s the reality of it,” she said.
“We’ve had some really difficult times and there’s been lots of people working really hard.”