Wallabies won't have selection 'open slather'

4 weeks ago 7
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Rugby Australia will not follow South Africa's lead with an "open slather' selection policy that would allow the Wallabies to pick players from anywhere in the world.

RA chairman Hamish McLennan joined Stan Sport's Rugby Heaven on Tuesday to expand on potential changes to the 'Giteau Law' that were first reported in the Sydney Morning Herald on Sunday.

RA chief executive Andy Marinos and Wallabies greats Phil Waugh and Daniel Herbert have been chewing over options as Australia licks its wounds from another Bledisloe Cup battering at Eden Park on Saturday.

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"We're not heading to open slather," McLennan said.

"We're just looking at how we can tweak and refine the current Giteau Law as it stands.

"Eligibility is really around are there one or two players out there that we can bring in and/or see how we can improve the player squad for a World Cup tournament.

"So we're not going to move to the South African model at all. But like all things it's open to debate and we're turning over every stone at Rugby Australia and have done for the past year. So the time is now for us look at it."

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McLennan said it was crucial that Australia could field five competitive Super Rugby teams and the Wallabies weren't the only consideration.

"We do think that at some point in the next couple of weeks we'll get that tournament finalised so we want to have a good local culture and stop our teams losing great players overseas en masse.

"I mean I'm a free marketeer by trade and if people do want to go overseas, whether it be to France or Japan or UK then so be it. But I think for us and our model and what we're trying to achieve, we want to keep as many of the good players here locally playing in Super Rugby... If you look at the local competition in South Africa it's been decimated so we don't want to move to that model whatsoever.

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"I think we can achieve both and that's our aim."

McLennan added that Super Rugby's expansion plans to include the Fijian Drua and Moana Pasifika teams next year would "be an incredible statement to make to World Rugby, if we can get there."

"And I think long-term we'd like to see how we can bring a Japanese team or a US team into the fold. If we can do that then I think we're going to have a good local competition, grooming our players right through the system, right through the high performance area, and it will be really strong to all our commercial partners.

"And I think that's the most critical thing we're looking at at the moment."

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McLennan also said that it was "short odds" that the bulk of the remaining Rugby Championship fixtures would be held in Perth and/or Queensland.

The Wallabies are scheduled to play the All Blacks in Perth on August 28 but fixtures beyond that are up in the air as coronavirus continues to wreak havoc.

"We're having high level discussions with both state governments, with a view that we'll just try and restrict the travel between all the teams and host it out of a single venue or a single area as the preferred model for us," McLennan said.

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