Wallabies coach Michael Cheika says he’d be crazy not to be considering George Smith, Matt Giteau and Drew Mitchell for this year’s Rugby World Cup.
The France-based trio are the only three players immediately available for Wallabies selection following the ARU’s backflip on its selection policy for offshore stars.
Cheika says as soon as he can track down their numbers, he’ll touch base with a trio boasting a combined total of 266 Test caps for Australia.
“I’d be stupid (not to be). That’s the idea, is to have more players available to choose from,” Cheika said on Friday.
“So of course, yeah, I’m looking at them now. Once I find their phone numbers, I’m sure I’ll be in contact with them.”
Smith retired for a second time following Australia’s 2-1 series loss to the touring British and Irish Lions in 2013.
Cheika said he had no idea if he’d be able to temp the champion flanker to make a second international comeback, but said the 34-year-old was “obviously” an attractive proposition.
“George played for me at Stade Francais,” Cheika said.
“He came on one of his little junkets out of Japan and came over and a had a little of life in France and I can tell you he was an awesome player to coach.
“Tactics .. he’s got great experience.
“But I’ll be honest, I haven’t actually seen a game of his this year. I’d be lying if I said I’d been out there looking.”
Cheika said it was too early to say if any of the three overseas-based options would need to return for the Rugby Championship or simply slot into his 31-man World Cup squad for this year’s global showpiece in Britain.