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A Wallabies' abroad XV as the 'Giteau Law' faces axe

By Ian Cameron
Will Skelton of Australia bumps off Kevin Gourdon of France (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

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Following their record drubbing at the hands of the All Blacks in Bledisloe II, reports this weekend suggest that the Giteau Law is set to be scrapped by Rugby Australia.

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“We do need to look into eligibility,” Chief Executive Andy Marinos told the Sydney Morning Herald. “I’m not saying it’s going to be alpha and omega. But it will certainly bring a lot more experience and a lot more depth across the board.

Brought after the 2015 Rugby World Cup, the law stated that to represent Australia while overseas a player had to have a minimum of 60 Test caps for Australia accrued and a minimum of seven seasons of Super Rugby under their belt.

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The law looks likely to get the chop, with critics arguing that it is holding back the Wallabies from selecting their best players at Test level.

Others fear that scrapping the law completely would see the flood gates open for Australia’s best players to look for lucrative contracts abroad that can’t be matched by Australian Super Rugby sides, further weakening Australia’s domestic competition.

We take a look at the Australian talent currently plying their trade outside of Australia. We have not included the likes of Will Genia, Nick Phipps, Bernard Foley, Rob Simmons, Sekope Kepu and Kurtley Beale who qualify under the current structure of the Giteau Law.

A WALLABIES ABROAD XV
15. CAM CLARK
Age: 28
Caps: 0
Current club: San Diego
A super fast back three player, Cam Clark left the Waratahs to head out the US with the MLR in 2020, although thanks to the pandemic he didn’t play a game until 2021.

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14. TAQELE NAIYARAVORO
Age: 29
Caps: 2
Current club: Northampton Saints
The giant league convert has found his best form in Europe, with Glasgow Warriors and latterly Northampton Saints.

13. TOM ENGLISH
Age: 28
Caps: 0
Current club: Kurita Water Gush
Can count himself unlucky not to have earned a cap as yet, having been involved with previous Wallabies camps. Fleet-footed and strong, he was tempted by a deal in Japan.

12. CURTIS RONA
Age: 29
Caps: 3
Current club: London Irish
The sizeable league convert has proved to be a force for the Gallagher Premiership in the centre where he normally plays, but he’s equally comfortable on the wing.

11. SEFA NAIVALU
Age: 29
Caps: 9
Current club: Stade Francais
A big loss to the national programme, ‘Super Sefa’ Naivalu took up a lucrative deal with Stade Francais in 2019.

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10. ZACK HOLMES
Age: 31
Caps: 0
Current club: Toulouse
Uncapped by the Wallabies but a veteran of the Top 14 at the age of 31. Left Australia and the Western Force in 2015.

9. BEN MEEHAN
Age: 28
Caps: 0
Current team: Gloucester
Uncapped by the Wallabies, the former U20s star has moved to the UK in 2017 with London Irish, before signing with the Cherry and Whites ahead of 2021/22.

8. SEAN MCMAHON
Age: 27
Caps: 26
Current team: Suntory Sun Goliath
Arguably one of the biggest losses to Aussie rugby, the hard carrying McMahon has been in Japan since 2017.

Sean McMahon

(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

7. LIAM GILL
Age: 29
Caps: 15
Current team: Shining Arcs
An all court back row, Gill is also playing his rugby in Japan after a spell in France with Toulon and Lyon.

6. NED HANIGAN
Age: 26
Caps: 21
Current team: Kurita Water Gush
Set to return to the Waratahs in 2022 and will be in the mix for Wallabies selection.

5. WILL SKELTON
Age: 29
Caps: 18
Current team: La Rochelle
On a huge contract in La Rochelle, there’s no sign of the giant Skelton returning to Australia just yet, though he has spoken about his desire to represent the national team again.

4. RORY ARNOLD
Age: 31
Caps: 22
Current team: Toulouse
One of two of the Arnold twins at Toulouse, the tallest Wallaby of all time is currently plying his trade with the giants of European rugby in the Top 14.

(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

3. JERMAINE AINSLEY
Age: 26
Caps: 3
Current team: Highlanders
Capped three times by Australia, the 5’11, 122kg tighthead left the Melbourne Rebels to move across the ditch to New Zealand.

2. TOLU LATU
Age: 28
Caps: 15
Current team: Stade Francais
The powerful front-rower left for France after the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

1. LES MAKIN
Age: 29
Caps: 0
Current club: Kurita Water Gush
Made over 50 appearances for the Brumbies before up sticks for Japan in 2020. One of the few Australian looseheads operating abroad.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:
Sam Carter – Ulster
Kane Douglas – Bordeaux Begles
Richie Arnold – Toulouse
Luke Morahan – Bristol Bears
Oli Hoskins – London Irish
Adam Coleman – London Irish
Luke Jones – Racing 92
Isaac Lukas – Ricoh Black Rams
Dave Dennis – LA Giltinis
Lopeti Tomani – La Rochelle
Henry Speight – Biarritz
Paddy Ryan – San Diego Legion
Joe Tomane – Ricoh Black Rams
Guy Millar – Biarritz
Pek Cowan – Shimizu Koto Blue Sharks
Sam Greene – Yamaha Júbilo
Mack Mason – Austin Gilgronis
Jack Debreczeni – Hino Red Dolphins
Ben Tapuai – Sharks

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A Wallabies' abroad XV as the 'Giteau Law' faces axe

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