Wallaby’s decision rules him out of World Cup contention
FORMER Wallabies backrower Scott Fardy has made himself ineligible for selection for this year's Rugby World Cup, after re-signing with European champions Leinster.
Fardy, who played 39 Tests for the Wallabies and was a key member in their run to the 2015 World Cup final, left the Brumbies following the 2017 Super Rugby season to join the Irish heavyweights.
His decision to leave was influenced by the fact that Wallabies coach Michael Cheika had overlooked the veteran, with Fardy playing his last Test against France in November 2016.
The 34-year-old has flourished in a new environment in Dublin and won the European Champions Cup and Pro 14 in his debut season.
Fardy was also nominated for European Player of the Year after proving a menace at blindside flanker and the second row.
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"I made that decision a while ago and I'm happy to be here for another year and continue to go after trophies."Winning games is enjoyable and I'm enjoying that process.
"I'm still learning, even at my age, I come in every Monday for the review and I'm still learning something from the game we've played."
Fardy's decision to stay in Ireland doesn't come as a surprise, but it does rob the Wallabies of a battle hardened, reliable option.
The recent appointments of Scott Johnson (director of rugby) and Michael O'Connor (independent selector) may have seen Fardy come back into the selection mix for the World Cup.
Had Fardy signed a deal to return home in 2020 he would have been eligible for the World Cup.
The Wallabies have struggled to find a replacement for Fardy at No 6, with Cheika using youngsters Jack Dempsey, Ned Hanigan and Lukhan Salakaia-Loto in the role since.
Under Rugby Australia's eligibility criteria, an overseas-based player can only be selected for the Wallabies if they have seven years of Super Rugby service and a minimum of 60 Tests.
RA boss Raelene Castle said there were no plans to follow South Africa's lead and change that eligibility criteria post-World Cup.
"At the moment, we're very comfortable with the way it's performing," Castle said.
"The Giteau law for us is a rule that's in place that we review often because we need to make sure that it's delivering to the outcomes that we put it in place for.
"And we believe it is, we believe the benchmark is right as a 60 Test threshold because if you've played 60 Tests for your country you deserve the chance to look at other options because you have the training maturity and the professionalism to come back into the Wallaby environment and fit right in.
"We think from a going overseas perspective it's right, we think probably if we lowered it, what it does do is potentially have us lose some of the current talent that we have playing here in Super Rugby.
"And Super Rugby is also incredibly important for us because we need to make sure that our four teams are successful in the Super Rugby competition."