Over­seas player law likely to be scrapped, says rugby rul­ing body

Mercury (Hobart) - - SPORT - DAR­REN WAL­TON

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.”

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