Wallaby legend: Let Kiwis play for Aussie teams!
Cape Town - Legendary former Wallaby Mark Ella believes New Zealand players should be allowed to play for Australian franchises in order to improve Super Rugby as a competition.
With the Australian sides on a terrible run of 38 losses to their trans-Tasman rivals, the former Wallaby flyhalf thinks the door should be opened.
And it is not just Australia who he feels should be allowed to look abroad for players, as Ella thinks player movement would be beneficial.
"After the Waratahs' loss to the Blues last Saturday I can't see an Australian team beating a New Zealand team this season," Ella told Australian Associated Press (AAP).
"If that happens, we would have gone two years without winning a single game against Kiwi opposition. That is totally unacceptable.
"If you can't beat them, sign them.
"Imagine what a difference it would make if the Brumbies signed Beauden Barrett or if the Waratahs recruited Brodie Retallick.
"You would just need one or two key Kiwi players to make the Australian teams competitive again."
He continued: "If players were free to play for any team in the competition, it would help to level out the playing field and make Super Rugby a much better competition.
"Right now it is just a competition between four strong Kiwi sides."
Ella admits that national unions will of course prefer to build their Test teams from their own franchises, but he is concerned that Super Rugby is currently suffering because of New Zealand's dominance.
"A Super Rugby player is a Super Rugby player," he said. "He should be allowed to play for any team in the competition."
"I understand why the national unions in Australia and New Zealand prefer their players to play for their own Super Rugby teams because it helps to prepare for Test rugby, particularly in New Zealand where they have a centralised system.
"But it is in New Zealand's interests for Australian rugby to be strong even if that means lending us some of their Super Rugby players."