The Australian Rugby Union wants Kangaroos centre Mark Gasnier, but won’t be used as a bargaining tool to up the player’s worth in league.
ARU boss Gary Flowers told the Sydney Morning Herald that the union were interested in Gasnier, but they had to make sure the centre wanted to switch codes.
“We don’t want to be used as a bargaining tool. That has been the case in the past and we have to make sure that Mark’s interest in rugby is genuine,” Flowers said. ” At this stage, there are no more meetings scheduled and Mark has to go away and decide what he wants to do with his future.”
Gasnier and his manager George Mimis met Wallabies coach John Connolly and ARU recruitment manager Michael O’Connor last week to discuss a possible switch.
Gasnier would follow the path trodden by dual internationals Mat Rogers, Wendell Sailor and Lote Tuqiri. ARU officials believe Gasnier would have enough time to adapt to rugby union before the World Cup in France next year.
Sailor told the Herald that Gasnier would be a success in rugby. “The things he can do are freakish,” he said. “He is a very good talent. He would be welcomed across. He could play 12 or 13, and with Shaun Berne leaving the Waratahs at the end of the year, Mark coming here would be a good thing for the future of the Waratahs.”
Sailor said Gasnier should be left to make up his mind, and Rogers agreed. “He should make his own decision and the people who pay him can decide what they want to pay him,” he said.