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ARU introduce overseas stints

28th August 2014 06:13

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Australian Rugby Union CEO Bill Pulver

Big news: Bill Pulver

Wallabies will be allowed overseas stints in the future in an attempt to keep their best talent, the Australian Rugby Union confirmed on Thursday.

The changes were approved by the ARU Board on Monday and will see the introduction of 'flexible contracts' for a select number of players who commit to Australian Rugby on long term-deals.

From 2016, the ARU will have the ability to offer players the opportunity to play one season in a foreign domestic competition during the course of a long-term contract with Australian Rugby.

In addition, players who represent Australia in Rugby Sevens at the 2016 Olympics will be granted permission to play the 2016/17 Japanese domestic season without affecting their eligibility for the Wallabies upon their return in 2017.

Flexible contracts allow the ARU and Super Rugby provinces to reward players deemed to be making a significant contribution to Rugby in Australia.

"We've recognised that in the context of an increasingly global market for Rugby players that we need to take a more flexible approach to player contracting," said Pulver on Thursday.

"As such, we need to be proactive and adapt our policies to best serve the interests of Rugby in Australia.

"By adopting a flexible contracting model, we're creating a platform for our players to experience what Rugby has to offer in Australia and abroad, all while maintaining their allegiance to Australian Rugby over a long-term period.

"We're confident this flexibility will encourage players to make significant long-term commitments to Australian Rugby and help us to minimise the number of players who permanently re-locate to foreign leagues.

"Decisions regarding all flexible contracts will be made on a case-by-case basis, understanding that our key priority remains that the Qantas Wallabies and Super Rugby provinces to have a strong and deep playing pool of talent available each year."

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