NSW Waratahs captain Dave Dennis believes overseas-based players should be considered for the Wallabies as long as they are contributing to Australian rugby.
Dennis says the ARU needs to revise its policy of overlooking players not involved in Super Rugby as Test stars look to maximise their earning potential by accepting lucrative contracts offshore.
“If you’re contributing to Australian rugby one way or another, they should be able to be selected for the Wallabies,” Dennis said on Friday.
“So whether that’s currently playing Super Rugby or looking to potentially come back and play Super Rugby … within a certain time-frame.
“I want to see the Wallabies have the best possible team that they can put out there, so I think we need to understand that there’s going to have to be a few little changes in that area.”
Despite admitting it wasn’t for him, Dennis said the ARU granting Bernard Foley its first-ever “flexible contract” – allowing the Waratahs and Wallabies five-eighth to have two stints in Japan over the next three years – was a sensible compromise.
“It’s a great opportunity for him. The good thing is he is staying in Australian rugby but he gets to experience something else,” Dennis said.
“That’s perfect for a young guy who’s got the world at his feet really.”
Off contract at the end of the year, Dennis said he hoped to settle his playing future next week but ruled out requesting a flexible contract at 29.
“I’m a bit older than Bernie. My body’s not like that. That’s not something I could look into,” he said.
“I’ve (also) got other commitments with my family and I couldn’t see myself doing that.
“So I’ll either be leaving for another club or I’ll be staying here. There’s no in-between.”
The versatile and popular forward admitted as captain he was conscious of the impact of his decision to stay or leave the Waratahs would have on the Super Rugby champions and also on soon-to-be head coach Daryl Gibson’s plans.
“We’re going to have a high player turnover,” Dennis said.
“That’s just going to happen with how the contracts are structured.
“So I feel as though I want to be a part of that constant and hopefully contribute to other guys staying around.
“That’s what makes it a little bit harder. I’ve always considered the club in the past.
“Now I’m at the stage of my career where I need to be a little bit more selfish. I know that doesn’t sound good, but that’s just how it goes.”