Gasnier 'may decide to play for France' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Gasnier 'may decide to play for France'

14/11/2008 02:02:22 PM Comments (0)

Mark Gasnier's French rugby club coach Ewen McKenzie says Australia shouldn't take it for granted the former Kangaroos star will want to return and play for the Wallabies.

McKenzie says Gasnier is enjoying life in Paris where he's adapting well in the switch from league to union with the Stade Francais club and it's "theoretically possible" he could even end up playing for France.

Australian Rugby Union officials are planning to meet Gasnier in Paris next week when the touring Wallabies are there to discuss his future and gauge his interest in playing for the national team heading toward the 2011 World Cup.

But under current ARU protocol players contracted overseas are ineligible to play for the Wallabies.

Gasnier is contracted to Stade Francais until May, 2010 and McKenzie believes the skilful 27-year-old is showing no obvious signs of wanting to play professionally in Australia again.

"At the moment he is contracted to us and he might choose to stay in France," former NSW Waratahs coach McKenzie told Sydney radio 2KY.

"He is enjoying life here. I don't have any inkling that he might want to rush to Australia and play any sport to be honest.

"It is theoretically possible (he will play for Australia), it is also theoretically possible he could play for France in three years time.

"From the fairytale point of view everyone would like to see him play for Australian rugby.

"Technically that's possible but it's also possible he might just want to stay in Stade Francais and keep playing.

"He is going to get married soon (to his French fiancee) and who knows, he could stay here and live for a while."

Gasnier quit the NRL at the end of the 2008 season to take up his $2 million contract with the French rugby outfit.

McKenzie has been happy with Gasnier's progress and is set to give him more time in the centres when his second-placed side travels to Montpellier this week.

Gasnier will also assume the goalkicking duties.

"He is taking more and more responsibility every week," said McKenzie.

"He will probably play in the centres in the second half, he is improving every week.

"He has such a good skill set and he still admits he is a bit lost out there at time but he is learning quickly."

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