Overseas players could be playing for Australian Super 14 teams from as early as next year, as the Australian Rugby Union considers lifting its current ban.
AP reports that the ARU board said on Thursday it would revisit its “foreign players policy”, meaning players not eligible for Australia national team selection may be allowed to join any of Australia’s four Super 14 sides.
The board is awaiting details of a new policy being developed in consultation with the Super 14 member unions, the Rugby Union Players’ Association and Wallabies coach Robbie Deans, the ARU said in a statement.
Discussions were “in progress” and a final submission, including the number of players that would be allowed per team, would be presented to the board for approval on Sept. 5, the statement said.
“It was agreed the time is right to make this change,” ARU chairperson Peter McGrath said.
“We are moving towards transformation at Super rugby level and allowing foreign players to be involved with our teams – not for the first time – is part of that evolutionary process.”
When rugby union became professional and the southern hemisphere provincial Super 12 competition was initially launched, Australian teams were able to use foreign players.
“It proved an immensely successful venture in some instances,” McGrath said.
“The reintroduction of foreign players will have advantages for our teams, for our fans, and for overseas marquee or emerging players wanting to experience the best provincial competition in the world.”Tweet