The Leicester Tigers will force Wallabies duo Matt Toomua and Tatafu Polota-Nau to return to England during the Rugby Championship.
Polota-Nau – who qualifies for international selection under Rugby Australia’s overseas selection policy for players with 60 Tests or more – and Toomua, who qualifies for selection following the announcement that he has agreed to terms to return to Australia with the Rebels in 2019, were both included in coach Michael Cheika’s 36-man squad.
Under World Rugby’s laws, clubs and provincial sides are obligated to release players to their national teams during a Test window.
But while the Tigers have done so with Polota-Nau and Toomua, the club has confirmed that the players are expected to report for duty in the United Kingdom during the Rugby Championship’s rest weekends on 1 and 22 September.
‘If retained in the final squad for the upcoming Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship series, the pair are expected to return to the Tigers during the Rugby Championship rest periods, which coincide with the first and fourth rounds of the English Premiership,’ read the statement.
If the Leicester Tigers follow through with this plan, it means Polota-Nau and Toomua will have to make the arduous 30,390km (back and forth) journey between Australia and England twice before the end of the Championship.
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