Wallabies relax Matt Giteau Law criteria for 2020

Rugby Australia's Giteau Law has been altered for the rest of 2020 to allow two extra players outside of the usual guidelines to be picked for Wallabies.

In a release on Thursday afternoon, RA announced the change, which will allow for a maximum of two players who do not meet the 60-cap and seven-year service threshold to be selected during World Rugby's nominated international windows.

RA said the change recognised the significant and unprecedented impact caused by COVID-19 on the game in Australia and around the world.

The change opens up a lengthy list of players that Wallabies coach Dave Rennie can call on, from locks Rory Arnold and Will Skelton-- where the Australians are short in personnel -- to back-rower Sean McMahon and centre Samu Kerevi.

"First and foremost, it is crucial that we recognise those players who are currently making a daily contribution to rugby in Australia, and that will be reflected in the squad we name for this year's Test season," Rennie said.

"We now have the chance to select one or two players based overseas who don't meet the current criteria and they'll not only add some experience to our group but be able to guide our young players to help their development.

"We are also looking long term though. We want to bring players back to play Super Rugby here in Australia, especially those who are passionate about playing for the Wallabies, get them excited about being in the environment again and this is a great way to encourage that."

The addition follows a revised policy announced in April 2015, where players based overseas were eligible for Wallabies selection if they have played more than 60 Tests for Australia and held a professional contract with Australia Rugby for at least seven years.

As agreed by the SANZAAR joint venture, the squad size for each nation will increase to 46 for this year's Test season to preserve competition integrity and high performance standards while maintaining strict COVID-19 quarantine compliance.

SANZAAR is expected to announce its final plan for the Rugby Championship Friday after a telephone conference with its stakeholders on Thursday.

New Zealand had been slated to host the tournament hub until a small resurgence in COVID-19 cases raised concerns about the country's ability to supply the necessary quarantine facilities to host each of the Wallabies, Springboks and Pumas under the Government's border restriction policy.

Reports earlier this week suggested Australia may now be the favourite to host the tournament, potentially across both Queensland and New South Wales.