The Wallabies may sacrifice having halfback Will Genia for their upcoming Bledisloe Cup clash with New Zealand if it improves their chances of getting him back for a potential Grand Slam decider later in the year.
Genia has been one of Australia’s shining lights during their mixed Rugby Championship campaign in which they had a 3-3 record.
Contracted to Stade Francais, Genia has already missed part of the French club’s Top 14 campaign because of his Test duties.
The dead rubber Bledisloe Cup Test in Auckland on October 22 falls outside of the mandated international Test window, so Genia’s club aren’t compelled to make him available for the Eden Park clash.
Likewise, two of the five Tests on the Wallabies’ northern hemisphere tour in November and December are scheduled outside that period’s international window.
One of those is the final match against England on December 3 at Twickenham, which could potentially be the last leg of a Grand Slam for the Wallabies, if they win their earlier Tests against Wales, Scotland and Ireland.
Australian Rugby Union officials believe not pushing the issue for Genia to face the All Blacks would be a goodwill gesture to Stade Francais which might be reciprocated later in the year and enhance their chances of getting him back for the England game.
The squad for the Bledisloe Cup Test is expected to be announced this weekend, with Wallabies coach Michael Cheika awaiting injury updates on backrowers David Pocock (hand) and Sean McMahon (ankle).