Rugby Australia have reiterated their commitment to maintaining the 60 cap Giteau Law ahead of the World Cup in the wake of the South Africa Rugby Union announcing their plans to scrap the 30 cap rule.
South Africa announces changes
The South African Rugby Union (Saru) have announced that they will no longer be enforcing the 30 cap policy for overseas based players in a bid to restructure the contracting system to keep more players within the country.
In the past, a small group of player were prioritized whereas the new policy will see Saru contracting up to 75 players across the country in order to build a bigger pipeline into the national contract and keep the unions strong.
Director of rugby, Rassie Erasmus said that it is a change that has been coming for while now:
“We have been agonising over how to keep players in the country since the game went professional more than 20 years ago and the bottom line is that the rand is too weak and the economy of South African rugby too small to compete.“A South African player can earn more from a two-month contract in Japan than he can if he were to win the World Cup with the Springboks this year. That’s the reality we have to face up to.”
Australia sticking to their guns
Australia on the other hand have stuck to their decision to continue with a 60 cap policy for their overseas policy.
Speaking to Rugby AU’s website, Rugby AU chief executive Raelene Castle said:
“At the moment, we’re very comfortable with the way it’s performing,” she told Rugby AU’s official website.
“The Giteau law for us is a rule that’s in place that we review often because we need to make sure that it’s delivering to the outcomes that we put it in place for.”
She also said that she believes that the change to the South African policy will have a major impact on the player drain currently happening within the country:
“The strategy of South African rugby is to make sure that they impart their right under World Rugby Regulation 9 to have the players released at all stages,” she said.
“If you’re paying someone a lot of money to play and he’s not able to play for you because he’s back in South Africa, that’s possibly not ideal.
“And I think also the reality of their decision is that works for them because 12 hours up and back on the plane is achievable, whereas 24 hours to get from the UK and Australia and back again, is probably not realistic.