Japan-bound Samu Kerevi would not be eligible for Wallabies selection under the law. Picture: Dan Mullan/Getty
Japan-bound Samu Kerevi would not be eligible for Wallabies selection under the law. Picture: Dan Mullan/Getty

Controversial ‘Giteau Law’ under microscope

FORMER Wallaby Drew Mitchell is adamant there should be a shake-up to the "Giteau Law" so new coach Dave Rennie has his best shot at a winning start.

Mitchell stopped short of saying the 60-Test standard to pick a player from overseas should be thrown out altogether but said it was time to add more flexibility.

The law gave Matt Giteau an unexpected route from France into the Wallabies for the 2015 World Cup, but could just as easily have been dubbed the "Mitchell Law" because his then-Toulon teammate benefited the same way.

Mitchell's reaction follows Wednesday's comment from Rugby Australia director of rugby Scott Johnson that the Giteau Law would be reassessed.

It's far more complex issue than simply highlighting that the Springboks harnessed seven stars from overseas clubs when they won the Rugby World Cup final in Japan this month.

"It's a difficult question when relaxing the 'law' might mean losing better players abroad earlier from Super Rugby in Australia," Mitchell said.

"I'm a bit torn because I always want the best possible team picked for the Wallabies and that's the way you get the results that people are thirsting for.

"I'm saying Australian rugby needs to have a pretty fluid approach to that 60-Test mark and adapt to the needs of the time.

"If success means picking any player you want from overseas in World Cup years, then there has to be a full discussion about that.

Drew Mitchell and Matt Giteau in 2015. Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty
Drew Mitchell and Matt Giteau in 2015. Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty

"We've picked a new coach in Dave Rennie to play tough Tests against Ireland in July so why wouldn't you give him his best chance at success if he wants to pick one or two key players from offshore?"

Mitchell used lock as an example with World Cup pair Rory Arnold (Toulouse) and Adam Coleman (London Irish) now playing in Europe and ineligible for Test selection with less than 60 caps.

"If there was a lock or two injured in Australia, Rennie should be allowed to bring in an Arnold, a Coleman or Will Skelton, from Saracens, as a 'special case'," Mitchell said.

Mitchell said building a "discretionary" call into the Giteau Law was one suggestion he had.

Michael Cheika introduced the controversial law. Picture: AP/Christophe Ena
Michael Cheika introduced the controversial law. Picture: AP/Christophe Ena

"There needs to be a thorough conversation between Scott Johnson, (RA chief executive) Raelene Castle, the players' association, player agents, senior and young players because they'll all see it differently," Mitchell said.

"Bottom line ... forget noses being put out of joint, we absolutely need results and can't afford to have Ireland beat us."

Scrapping the Giteau Law altogether would bring Skelton and other high-achievers like flanker Liam Gill (Lyon, France) back into the picture for potential selection.

POSSIBLE WALLABIES XV (for July if the Giteau Law was scrapped)

Kurtley Beale (Waratahs), Marika Koroibete (Rebels), Jordan Petaia (Reds), Samu Kerevi (Suntory, Japan), Reece Hodge (Rebels), Matt Toomua (Rebels), Nic White (Exeter, England), Isi Naisarani (Rebels), Michael Hooper (Waratahs), Lukhan Salakaia-Loto (Reds), Rory Arnold (Toulouse, France), Izack Rodda (Reds), Allan Alaalatoa (Brumbies), Tolu Latu (Waratahs), Scott Sio (Brumbies). Reserves: Jordan Uelese (Rebels), Taniela Tupou (Reds), James Slipper (Brumbies), Adam Coleman (London Irish, England), Liam Gill (Lyon, France), Tom Banks (Brumbies), Bernard Foley (Kubota, Japan), Tate McDermott (Reds).

News Corp Australia


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