Rugby: Former All Black Tawera Kerr-Barlow wants to switch allegiance to Australia

Tawera Kerr-Barlow during a 2016 test against Argentina. Photosport

Former All Blacks halfback Tawera Kerr-Barlow wants to play for the Wallabies, five years after last wearing the black jersey.

Kerr-Barlow, who was born in Melbourne, made 29 appearances for the All Blacks from 2012 to 2017 and was part of the World Cup winning squad in 2015, coming on as a substitute in the final against Australia.

His last match for New Zealand was against a France XV in November 2017.

Recent changes in World Rugby’s eligibility laws allow players to make an international switch after 36 months of inactivity. The change has seen the likes of Wallabies star Israel Folau, and former All Blacks Charles Piutau, Malakai Fekitoa and Augustine Pulu play for Tonga but Kerr-Barlow could become the first to switch between two tier one nations.

The former Chiefs, Waikato and Maori All Blacks player has amassed more than 100 caps for French side La Rochelle since leaving New Zealand. His former Chiefs coach Dave Rennie is now in charge of the Wallabies.

“Unlike New Zealand, Australia has a rule allowing players who are overseas to still be eligible for selection. I am available to play for the Wallabies,” Kerr-Barlow told French publication Rugbyrama.

“I was born there. I have a lot of ties in this country and if the staff calls me I will go without hesitation. It would be a great opportunity but for the moment I am focused on La Rochelle.”