Nic White and Sekope Kepu are the latest Wallabies to announce they will accept overseas offers to leave Australia following the Rugby World Cup.
Kepu will join Adam Ashley-Cooper on a three-year deal with French club Bordeaux-Begles while White will play under former Brumbies mentor Jake White and alongside ex-Wallabies captain Ben Mowen at Montpellier on a two-year contract.
Australian clubs look set to continue losing star talent to lucrative overseas offers without significant financial backing on home soil.
“We’re disappointed because Nic is a critical member of the squad,” Brumbies chief executive Michael Jones told ESPNScrum. “But the good thing is that he’s such a tenacious competitive bastard that it won’t affect his season and he’ll want to go out in style.”
“He will still want to be a big part of the Wallabies in a World Cup year as well… he’s proud and that won’t change. We’re not expecting a massive exodus. Nic was just one with timing… I don’t think we could match what he was offered.
“We’re already getting a plan together for next year for who we need to target to plug the gap and look at it as an opportunity.”
Following the recent news James Horwill and Scott Higginbotham will also be making post-World Cup exits, former Australian coach Bob Dwyer has spoken out in favour of the emerging trend, saying the Wallabies needs to consider fielding sides with overseas players.
“We ought to do it immediately,” Dwyer told the AAP. “I think it is arrogant to say ‘if you aren’t going to play in Australia we are not going to select you’.
“I think it is beneath our dignity to make such a call.
“I think we should be saying ‘we want to support you in your career development in every way we can’ and make them available for Wallabies selection.
“South Africa do it – if it’s good enough for them how come it is not good enough for us?”
Photo: Cameron White/Getty Images.