Rugby-Wallaby Kerevi still a fan of Giteau Law
By Ian Ransom
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Samu Kerevi could be the first beneficiary if Rugby Australia opens the floodgates to overseas-based players but the hulking centre is not convinced it would be the right move for the sport in the country.
RA is considering scrapping the so-called "Giteau Law," which, barring two discretionary picks, limits the selection of foreign-based players to those with at least 60 test caps.
The rule is intended to encourage players to stay home rather than head off to richer rugby markets but former Wallabies and pundits have called for it to be abandoned to arrest Australia's slide down the world rankings.
While that would offer the best of both worlds for 33-test Kerevi, who could continue to earn big money in Japan while playing internationals, the 27-year-old backed the current system.
"I’ve always been a fan of the Giteau Law. I think it’s pretty awesome to have your top players here in Australia competing," Kerevi told reporters on Thursday.
"Anyone overseas wants to put on that gold jersey, they’ll always put their hand up to have the opportunity to.
"I can’t speak too much on it because I’m obviously overseas at the moment. I guess it would work in my favour.
"But in saying that, I think you have got to give the guys that are here at home the opportunity to put on that jersey.
"They work really hard to play in that Super Rugby AU competition and ply their trade here."
Kerevi has returned to the Wallabies squad after representing Australia in rugby sevens at the Tokyo Olympics and could be one of coach Dave Rennie's discretionary picks during the Rugby Championship.
Rennie has rolled Hunter Paisami, Len Ikitau and Matt Toomua through the midfield in back-to-back defeats to New Zealand at Eden Park and through the 2-1 series win over France but few are sold on the combinations.
Australia are scheduled to play the All Blacks in Perth next week but Kerevi is not getting ahead of himself, with the match in doubt after Western Australia state imposed quarantine requirements on visitors from New Zealand following a COVID-19 outbreak.
"I'm here to get as much knowledge as I can over the next couple of days and ... just push the centres, push our group in a positive way," said Kerevi.
"Wherever that leads I'll be happy."
(Editing by Peter Rutherford)
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