Australia's Wallabies Rugby News

Australia looks beyond its borders




The ARU is considering allowing a limited number of foreign players to play for the Australian Super 14 franchises, to ease concern over a lack of depth in Australia’s top-level players.

Not one Australian team made the Super 14 semi-finals this season, and the considered opinion is that bringing in overseas players – one in each team – would help domestic success.

The system is due to be trialled in the Australian Rugby Championship this season.

“The issue came up with the Australian Rugby Championship,” ARU high performance manager Pat Wilson told The Australian newspaper on Thursday.

“There was an opportunity to bring in a marquee player to work with those teams. Then we thought it might flow on to the Super 14.”

The idea has not been approved yet, and will be carefully monitored if it does get that far so as to ensure up-and-coming young players are not left kicking their heels on the bench.

“You would have to look at what you’ve already got in your playing ranks,” Wilson said.

“We wouldn’t want the teams to go out and recruit four half-backs.”

With a clutch of high-profile players departing Australia post-RWC to finish their careers in Europe, it is easy to see the shortfall, but there will be concerns over the ‘quick fix’ nature of the rule, and also in the Pacific Islands, from where a number of the new players are likely to come.

Australia has hitherto been the only of the three Super 14 countries to stick to a ‘locals only’ policy for their teams.


365 Digital

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