Despite winning the Rugby Championship and reaching the World Cup final in 2015, Australia failed to kick on under Micheal Cheika in 2016.
A series whitewash at the hands of England in June was followed by a disappointing Rugby Championship campaign and an underwhelming November series. Although there has been some criticism of Cheika, he is having to deal with a player pool that is evaporating faster than a creek in the outback.
No sooner than players announce themselves with one of Australia’s five Super Rugby franchises, a European club comes calling. Dane Haylett-Petty is the perfect example of this phenomenon. After breaking into the Wallabies starting XV last season, he is now the subject of a contract offer from Bordeaux Begles according to Midi Olympique.
If Haylett-Petty does decide to leave the Force, he will no longer be available for selection with the Wallabies as the 27 year-old has only accumulated 13 international caps, far short of the 60 required to be considered by Cheika.
However if he were to take up Bordeaux’s reported offer, Haylett-Petty would join a list of eight further Australian wingers plying their trade in the Top 14.
Indeed, there is now so much Australian talent playing in France, it is possible to pick a backline that could arguably eclipse what Michael Cheika has at his disposal domestically.
[tie_slide]9. Will Genia (Stade Francais)
[tie_slide]10. Brock James (Stade Rochelais)
[tie_slide]11. Drew Mitchell (Toulon)
[tie_slide]12. Matt Giteau (Toulon)
[tie_slide]13.Adam Ashley-Cooper (Bordeaux Begles)
[tie_slide]14. James O’Connor (Toulon)
[tie_slide]15. Jesse Mogg (Montpellier)
Alan Drumm, Pundit Arena
On this week’s Oval Office Podcast we look at Leicester Tigers’ options and discuss Johnny Sexton’s potential Lions tour.