Australia: Dave Rennie wants Giteau Law change to avoid second-row crisis

Colin Newboult

Wallabies head coach Dave Rennie says that he wants to be able to pick four overseas-based players rather than three due to their injury issues at lock.

Samu Kerevi is absent having been selected in the Australia Sevens side for the Commonwealth Games, which means Toulouse’s front five forward Rory Arnold has been brought into the squad as his replacement.

Alongside Quade Cooper and Marika Koroibete, they are the three overseas selections for the upcoming games against Argentina.

Rennie would like to see that expanded, however, with La Rochelle’s Will Skelton no doubt on the radar after the injuries to a number of second-rows.

One injury from real problems

“The issue from a second-row point of view is we’ve lost a number of guys for an extended period,” the Wallabies boss told reporters.

“Izack (Rodda) and Cadeyrn Neville are gone for an extended period and a guy who we brought in to give us a bit cover there, Ned Hanigan, went under the knife last week.

“We’re a little bit thin in the second-row and we’re probably only one injury away from a fair bit of pressure there.

“We need to go back to the (RA) board and have a chat around where things are at.

“Maybe there is only three available anyway when it comes to the rest of the Rugby Championship, but we’ll assess things once we’re back from Argentina.”

Arnold is also carrying a “niggle” following another brutal Top 14 season, but Rennie is confident that the Toulouse man will be ready.

Getting the body right

“It’s fair to say he hasn’t been slogging it out in the last four weeks,” he said.

“He’s had a bit of a holiday, he’s done a bit of running, picked up a little niggle, but we’re confident that he’ll tour.

“We’ll make a decision on whether we think we can get the body right for that first Test when we see how he turns up next week and the amount of work we can get into him in the next week-and-a-half.

“But he’s been in our environment before and he’ll understand the structures, so it’s just a case of trying to get the body right.”

READ MORE: Rory Arnold back in Wallabies squad for tour to Argentina