Foster and Rennie share thoughts on Kerr-Barlow & the Wallabies

Foster and Rennie share thoughts on Kerr-Barlow & the Wallabies

All Black boss Ian Foster has revealed he has mixed emotions regarding the prospect of Tawera Kerr-Barlow turning out for the Wallabies. 

 


Foster has been significantly involved in the 32 year-old Kerr-Barlow's career, having mentored him for one season at the Chiefs and six as assistant coach of the All Blacks. In total, Kerr-Barlow has racked up 27 caps for the men in black. 

 

Kerr-Barlow was born in Australia and emigrated to New Zealand at the age of 13. World Rugby’s recent relaxation of the law which tied a player to one country for their career means that the scrumhalf is free to pull on the Wallaby jumper, should he wish to do so, and reports coming out of France indicate that he is enthusiastic about the possibility. 


 

“I am available to play for the Wallabies,” Kerr-Barlow said. 


 

“I was born there. I have a lot of ties in this country, and if the staff calls me, I will go without hesitation.” 

 
However, said enthusiasm is not matched by Foster. 

 

“It kind of doesn’t feel right to me, but rules are rules, and he’s entitled,” Foster said. 

 

“All I know is the beauty that he brought into the All Blacks camp. He’s a quality person and quality rugby player, so there is no judgement on that decision. 

 

“What I remember from him is the influence he had in our environment, which is fantastic. To kind of think of that going somewhere else is a bit funny, but rules are rules and that’s the way the game’s going.” 

 

Wallabies boss Dave Rennie was measured when asked for comment on the situation. 

 

“Tawera’s making a big chunk of change over at La Rochelle, that’s where his future lies,” Rennie said. 

 

“I had a conversation with him maybe 4, 5, 6 months ago, where he rang up just to say that if we ever got under any pressure, if there were injuries (he was keen and available to play). 

 

“Obviously he’s born in Australia, he’s a former All Black, but with the change of rules makes him eligible, and he’s a helluva player. 

 

“At the moment we’ll be loyal to the guys we’ve got, it’s probably our strongest position to be fair. We’ve got three excellent 9s here, and Ryan Lonergan in behind that. 

 

“But as we’ve seen this year (with injuries) things can change quickly, so we’ll certainly keep in contact with Tawera. 

 

“It’s a helluva resource in behind what we’ve already got. 

 

“I know he’s a great man. A hell of a player. You’ve got a guy who’s a former All Black putting his hand up to play for the Wallabies - it’s a good sign.” 

 

 

 

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