Don't change Wallabies rule: Cross - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Don't change Wallabies rule: Cross

By David Beniuk 17/07/2008 07:39:20 PM Comments (0)

Former league star Ryan Cross says Australian rugby should not change its rules to allow Stade Francais recruit Mark Gasnier to play for the Wallabies.

Australia and New Zealand refuse to consider players who are not part of the Super 14 competition, meaning NRL superstar Gasnier, who will switch to rugby in France later this year, is ineligible for Wallabies selection.

Centre Cross would certainly have plenty to lose if Gasnier, who plays the same position, were suddenly to appear on the scene.

"I think it works all right the way it is now," Cross said.

Asked if Gasnier's deal would turn the steady stream of league and union players heading to cashed up northern hemisphere clubs into an unstoppable tide, Cross said: "Yeah, I think it will cheapen the Super 14 for sure.

"I think to play here is probably the pinnacle of our game, to play Super 14.

"It's a tough competition and I think if you're staying here you deserve to get picked for the Wallabies and I think it's a bit too hard to open it up too much."

There have been suggestions Gasnier could return to play for a Super 14 side after the completion of his two-year deal at Ewen McKenzie's club, making the St George Illawarra centre eligible for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

The 26-year-old virtually ruled out a return to the NRL when he announced his move on Tuesday.

His Dragons boss, Peter Doust, suggested the solution to the player drain was to allow them to play either code year round, something Wallabies ex-leaguey Lote Tuqiri said on Wednesday was a good idea.

Former Sydney Rooster Cross, though, disagrees.

"Both of them are demanding enough as it is so I think it's just too much to ask of a player for sure," he said.

The Western Force player of the year will sit on the Wallabies bench for a fourth straight Test on Saturday, against South Africa at Subiaco Oval.

"This year's been a real whirlwind," he said.

"Last year I thought was a real learning experience and I've brought that into this year and the confidence has been building all year.

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