Veteran playmaker Matt Giteau will be back with the Wallabies by Monday, but coach Michael Cheika has revealed agents are putting players in difficult situations by giving foreign clubs incorrect information.
Giteau plays for Toulon and the French club’s owner Mourad Boudjellal reportedly threatened to dock his pay if the inside back linked up with the Wallabies in the lead-up to their Rugby Championship opener against New Zealand next month.
“It didn’t take anything (to get Matt back), it wasn’t anything to do with Matt,” Cheika said.
“The situation is pretty clear from his team’s end, if he’s not there they don’t pay him, that’s pretty straight up.”
Giteau was one of four overseas-based backs named in a 36-man train-on squad.
The others were halfback Will Genia and wingers Drew Mitchell and Adam Ashley-Cooper, all of who, like Giteau had their last Wallabies start in the 2015 World Cup final.
The squad also included playmaker Quade Cooper, who recently left Toulon, but winger Taqele Naiyaravoro was unavailable due to commitments to his Japanese club.
Cheika highlighted the difficulties facing overseas-based players by referring to forwards Liam Gill, Greg Holmes and Dave Dennis, who are all heading to overseas clubs and seeking an early release from their contracts.
“I’ve spoken to the Toulon owner and he didn’t know that Liam Gill was in a contract until December 31,” Cheika said.
“The players are being put in really difficult situations.
“In these instances this year with these players I really didn’t want to let them go, but these players have been put in the middle of difficult situations by their agents by promising the overseas clubs certain things that they are not sure they can deliver.”
He said Australia would continue trying to repatriate foreign-based players by providing quality conditions, but faced ongoing challenges from cashed up european teams.
“With the UK increasing it’s salary cap I think it’s going up towards ten million pounds in 2018 and the French league’s salary cap is not really being monitored that seriously, it’s just going to be a consistent challenge for us.
“The number one thing we can control is the quality of what we give players when they are here, the quality of coaching, the quality of their physical and mental preparation, the quality of tournament we play and how we play the game.”
The returns of Giteau and Cooper squeezed out Christian Lealiifano who was used off the bench in all three Tests of the June series against England.
Injuries ruled out backs Kurtley Beale and Joe Tomane and lock Rory Arnold.
Train-on squad: Allan Alaalatoa, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Adam Coleman, Quade Cooper, Kane Douglas, Scott Fardy, Israel Folau, Bernard Foley, Nick Frisby, Will Genia, Matt Giteau, James Hanson, Dane Haylett-Petty, Reece Hodge, Michael Hooper, Rob Horne, Sekope Kepu, Samu Kerevi, Tevita Kuridrani, Ben McCalman, Sean McMahon, Drew Mitchell, Luke Morahan, Stephen Moore (cap), Dean Mumm, Nick Phipps, David Pocock, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Tom Robertson, Rob Simmons, Scott Sio, Will Skelton, James Slipper, Toby Smith, Lopeti Timani, Matt Toomua.