1 Nov 2008

Australian rugby boss calls for open player market

12:17 pm on 1 November 2008

The Australian Rugby Union boss John O'Neill has called for an open player market between the Tri-Nations competitors to help curb a talent drain to Europe.

O'Neill proposes All Blacks, Springboks and Wallabies be able to roam freely between Super 14 clubs.

He says even the prospect of seeing Wallabies pin-up Matt Giteau running out for the Auckland Blues as far more desirable than continually losing players to cashed-up European clubs.

The ARU's current policy is not to select overseas-based Australians for the Wallabies.

But O'Neill says times have changed and, estimating the "English and French rugby economies were five times that of the southern hemisphere nations", radical measures were needed.