The Wallabies are set to name a stacked squad for this year’s Spring Tour as a loosening of eligibility laws and club generosity combine to add to the widening selection options.
Coach Dave Rennie confirmed that Japan-based stars Quade Cooper, Samu Kerevi and Sean McMahon have been given the green light by their clubs to tour for four Tests in October and November.
And France-based lock Will Skelton has also voiced his desire to return to the Test fold for Australia’s end of season tour of Japan, Scotland, England and Wales.
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The Wallabies are also interested in recalling France-based forwards Rory Arnold and Tolu Latu as Rugby Australia cast the net wide ahead of the 2023 World Cup.
“Obviously, not being eligible is tough, not being able to put your hand up to play,” Skelton told AFP this week.
“If the opportunity does come along I’ll definitely put my hand up. You can see how well they’re playing at the moment and you miss that environment, the international field.
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“You almost ask yourself if you’ve still got it and good enough. You want to test yourself against the best. It would be awesome to link up. If it happens, it happens.”
RA is yet to formalise its eligibility laws but chairman Hamish McLennan has advocated for flexibility in getting Rennie the cattle he wants.
“Suntory have been fantastic – they’re very keen for them to play a bit of international footy and it works out nicely for them based on their schedule,” Rennie said of Kerevi and McMahon, who will both play against the Pumas on the Gold Coast tomorrow night.
But McMahon – who hasn’t played for Australia since 2017 – wasn’t ready to count his chickens regarding Spring Tour selection.
“We’re still talking and figuring that all, all I’ve been focused on is this week really,” McMahon said.
“I don’t try to focus too far ahead in the future so for me, it’s just about focusing on this week and the game.”