Rugby World Cup 2015: Aussies tweak selection policy

Drew Mitchell
Mitchell made his international debut in 2005

Wales and England could face Matt Giteau and Drew Mitchell at the 2015 World Cup after Australia made a key change to their selection policy.

Only home-based players used to be considered, ruling out the likes of Toulon duo Giteau and Mitchell.

But Wallabies coach Michael Cheika can now pick anyone who has at least 60 caps and played for seven years in Super Rugby with an Australian team.

Australia are in the same World Cup group as Wales and hosts England.

The move comes as the Australian Rugby Union,external-link which is struggling financially, sees several players heading abroad after this year's World Cup,external-link which begins in September.

"This is a pivotal moment for rugby in Australia," said chief executive Bill Pulver.

The decision means New Zealand and England are the only major nations whose rules ensure only home-based players can play Test rugby.

Fly-half or inside centre Giteau, 32, has 92 caps, while winger or full-back Mitchell, 32, has represented his country 63 times.

Matt Giteau