Rugby Australia amended its selection policy on Friday in the lead-up to the 2023 World Cup to cap the Wallabies at a maximum of three overseas-based players.
While this limits the number of such players that can be selected for Australia, the threshold for these candidates was reduced from a minimum of 60 Tests to 30, and from seven years in Super Rugby to five.
However, the new rules restrict coach Dave Rennie to selecting the trio per tournament or series, as opposed to per game. That will leave him with some tough choices for July’s home Test series against England and beyond to the World Cup in France.
Top names including Samu Kerevi, Quade Cooper, Rory Arnold, Marika Koroibete, Will Skelton, and Sean McMahon are all based overseas and only three can be considered.
Rugby Australia chief Andy Marinos said the change offered a balance between ensuring the best talent while maintaining a focus on picking Australian-based players.
“Rugby is a global sport and we recognise the challenging environment we operate within where we realise we cannot keep all players on our shores,” he said.
“This policy shows we will continue to prioritise the players that are playing in Australia. These will be the first group of players considered for international selection before further consideration is given to any players playing abroad.”
Introduced in 2015, “Giteau’s Law” previously only allowed foreign-based players to put on the Australia jersey if they had at least 60 Test caps and played a minimum of seven seasons at home in Super Rugby.
The new rules also allow players based overseas but who have signed a deal with an Australian club for the following year to be eligible.
Fullback Kurtley Beale last week signed with the NSW Waratahs for 2023, making him available for Wallabies selection this year under the amended guidelines.
On Friday, Wallabies and Brumbies loose forward Pete Samu re-signed with Australian Rugby until the end of 2023, ensuring he is available for the World Cup.
“Pete’s a great team man and we’re thrilled he’s extended his commitment to Australian Rugby,” said Rennie.
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