Kalpana Kalpana (Editor)

Giteau's law

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Giteau's law is a name given to a practice by the Australian Rugby Union introduced in 2015 to allow overseas based Australian rugby union players to be eligible to play for the Australian national rugby union team. The policy change is colloquially named after Matt Giteau as the rule was seen as primarily to bring Giteau into the Australian side for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.



Previously, players could only play for the Australian national rugby union team if they played for an Australian team in the Super Rugby competition.

Head coach Michael Cheika devised Giteau's Law to enable key overseas players to be eligible for the 2015 Rugby World Cup. In April 2015, the Australian Rugby Union announced this new arrangement.

The criteria to be selected for the national team under this law are:

  • Minimum 60 Test caps for Australia; and
  • Minimum 7 seasons at Super rugby level
  • The rule also allows players to return to Test duty immediately if they have signed with a Super Rugby club for the following two years.


    Assistant national coach Stephen Larkham said the rule enabled the Australian world cup squad to benefit from more experienced players. He said ""It’s not just a team that’s a little bit older and therefore more experienced (but) we’ve got the right number of experienced guys, the right number of older guys and the right number of younger enthusiastic guys."

    The New Zealand Rugby Union Chief Executive Steve Tew said he would not implement such a rule as New Zealand "didn’t often follow Australia".

    Besides Giteau, Drew Mitchell returned from France for the 2015 World Cup under this rule.

    Following the 2015 World Cup, head coach Michael Cheika hoped as much as 85% of the squad would be available for the 2019 Rugby World Cup including players available under Giteau's Law.

    Domestic players

    Below is a list of active players that currently plays in Australia but could move overseas and still be eligible for selection.

  • Ben Alexander (Brumbies)
  • Quade Cooper (Reds)
  • Michael Hooper (Waratahs)
  • Sekope Kepu (Waratahs)
  • Stephen Moore (Reds)
  • David Pocock (Brumbies)
  • Tatafu Polota-Nau (Force)
  • Rob Simmons (Reds)
  • James Slipper (Reds)
  • George Smith (Reds)
  • Overseas players

    Below is a list of active players that currently plays overseas and can continue to represent Australia.

  • Adam Ashley-Cooper ( Bordeaux Bègles)
  • Kurtley Beale ( Wasps)
  • Will Genia ( Stade Français)
  • Matt Giteau ( Toulon)
  • James Horwill ( Harlequins)
  • Drew Mitchell ( Toulon)
  • References

    Giteau's law Wikipedia

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