Tue. May 17th, 2022

Wallabies stars Quade Cooper, Samu Kerevi and Sean McMahon could potentially miss the opening match of the Spring Tour unless they get clearance from their Japanese clubs.

Australia play Japan in Oita on October 23, and after naming his tour team today, Wallabies coach Dave Rennie revealed that some negotiations were underway.

“The key is that we try to create a strong connection with the Japanese clubs,” Rennie told reporters.

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“Because from a reg ni perspective (World Rugby regulation) we can seize them, but they are the primary employer.

“Although the clubs have been very supportive, they have their own plans to focus on.

“They want success and want their best players in shape and available.

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“It’s important that we establish a good relationship there.”

Cooper plays for Kintetsu Liners, while Kerevi and McMahon are on the books at Suntory Sungoliath.

Rugby Australia has eased legislation this year and Rennie selected six overseas players in its 37-man squad.

The others are the stars of France, Will Skelton, Rory Arnold and Tolu Latu, as the Wallabies continue to expand their options ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

But both Rennie and RA CEO Andy Marinos said the preference remained to select Australian Super Rugby players.

“It’s important that we promote from within,” Rennie said.

“But I think some of these guys who come in and get a taste of that environment and that culture encourage them to come back and play here.

“We try to get as many homes as possible … there have been exceptions based on COVID.

“Historically, there has been a 60 cap rule (the Giteau law).

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“We talked about being able to bring in a couple of guys, and that was our plan.

“When the COVID restrictions came in and we couldn’t get any players out of NSW or Victoria, we had a couple of players to go home, so we got an exemption to use some of the guys who were actually here between seasons. .

“That’s not necessarily the plan going forward, and there will be discussions we have after the spring trip.”

Former Wallabies Phil Waugh and Daniel Herbert play a leading role in establishing RA’s law of entitlement going forward.

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