A triumphant return to Test rugby was enough for Quade Cooper to earn extra support in his fight for Australia citizenship, and he may not be the only member of the team in line for a new passport.
That's after Rugby Championship chairman Hamish McLennan put forth the suggestion that coach Dave Rennie should also qualify after guiding the Wallabies to second in the Rugby Championship.
Australia were left in a mire after being swept by Rennie's birth nation, New Zealand, in this year's Bledisloe Cup, but four straight wins over South Africa and Argentina were enough to rescue a runner-up finish.
Andrew Kellaway scored a hat-trick as Australia signed off their campaign with a 32-17 victory over the Pumas on Saturday.
That represented the first time the Wallabies have won four consecutive games in the Rugby Championship, signalling a potential shift in the power dynamic of southern-hemisphere Test rugby.
Former Chiefs and New Zealand under-20 coach Rennie, 57, replaced Michael Cheika at the Wallabies helm in 2020 and has steadily improved results in his first 18 months.
“He’s everything that we could have hoped for,” McLennan said after Saturday's victory over Argentina.
“He’s incredibly decent, humble and knows how to get the best out of his players. While we’re at it, we should be offering him citizenship.”
It wasn't long ago that Australia slipped to an all-time joint-worst of seventh in World Rugby's rankings, but their recent streak has lifted the team back to third in the international pecking order.
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The current run also represents the first time the Wallabies have won four games in a row since 2017, perfect timing as the two-year countdown begins ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
Rennie's decision to bring Quade Cooper back into the side helped inspire back-to-back wins over South Africa, while other areas of the team are beginning to take shape.
Samu Kerevi also plays in Japan and benefited from a 2020 relaxation of the Giteau Law selection policy, which could be expanded further in an effort to help Australia's international ambitions.
The current rules restrict selection to players who currently play for an Australian club, or those who have 60 caps or more and have held a contract with Rugby Australia for at least seven years.
Kerevi impressed this summer as one of two overseas-based players permitted in the squad, but it's suspected these criteria could be opened up further in the foreseeable future.
Rennie is one import in particular with whom the Wallabies appear content, and citizenship would be one way of showing the coach he has the nation's confidence.
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