Rugby Australia to phase out foreign players after return to four Super Rugby teams

RUGBY Australia is working towards an Australia First policy with foreign players to be largely phased out of their Super Rugby sides.

The policy shift comes after RA opted to return to four Super Rugby sides by controversially cutting the Force last season.

Super Rugby’s expansion to include the Force in 2006 and the Rebels in 2011 saw an influx of foreign stars in a bid to make teams competitive and put bums on seats.

But a return to four Australian teams has created a shift in thinking with RA now looking to minimise imports and focus on retaining its own Wallabies eligible players.

“Going to four teams means we will work on the foreign talent eligibility because we feel that there’s limited (contracts available),” RA’s high performance manager Ben Whitaker told foxsports.com.au.