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Wallabies star winger Koroibete set to miss Northern Hemisphere tour

(Photo by Jono Searle/Getty Images)

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Star winger Marika Koroibete will miss the Wallabies’ entire northern-hemisphere spring tour after opting to stay in Australia after the birth of his third child.


With the 2019 John Eales Medallist bound for Japan’s Panasonic Wild Knights next season, Koroibete’s absence from the tour means he’s played his last match of the year for Australia – and possibly longer.

Koroibete, who’s been pivotal to the the Wallabies’ success in 2021, will need Australia’s eligibility laws – the so-called Giteau Law – to remain in place if he is to be picked for the Wallabies while in Japan as he is under the cap threshold with only 42 Test appearances.

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All Blacks head coach Ian Foster on preparations for USA
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All Blacks head coach Ian Foster on preparations for USA

But he is not the only omission from next weekend’s showdown with the Brave Blossoms, as recently returning back-rower Sean McMahon is out of the squad’s bubble for family reasons, while centre Samu Kerevi could miss the clash due to injury.

McMahon departed back to Japan to be with family following The Rugby Championship, and Kerevi is nursing a syndesmosis injury suffered in their final match with Argentina.

Coach Dave Rennie says the Wallabies are working closely with both players’ Japan-based clubs regarding World Rugby’s regulation nine rule, to navigate their selections for the ensuing tour of Europe.

“Obviously we’ve been talking to both clubs and the relationship side of us key for us,” Rennie said on Sunday.


“Technically, from a ‘reg’ nine perspective, players have to be released for national duty.

“But, we’re also conscious that we want to build a strong relationship with a club so we’re talking through that at the moment.”

Rennie said having players like Kerevi, McMahon and fellow Japan-based star Quade Cooper was important for his side as they build momentum two years from the World Cup.

The importance of regulation nine is also shown through their competitors like South Africa, who predominantly choose their side from overseas clubs, Rennie added.


But adding to the list of players missing the tour is prop Pone Fa’amausili, who has tweaked his calf and won’t be touring, according to Rennie.


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