Robbie Deans’s squad of 25 to play the British and Irish Lions won’t play Super Rugby in June.
ARU CEO Bill Pulver confirmed at a media conference the priority in Australian rugby in 2013 was to win the series against the Lions and that Deans had to be given three weeks to prepare his squad for the three-Test series.
The nominated players will also be unavailable for their Super Rugby teams’ matches against the Lions.
Decisions on which players, if any, will be available for Super Rugby local derbies on June 7 and June 9 will be made closer to the time.
‘If those Super Rugby matches have significant bearing on the competition standings, and finals spots are at stake, ARU will take that under serious consideration,’ said Pulver.
The decision is consistent with what the Australian Rugby Union did in 2001 when the Lions last toured Australia.