S14 doors open Thursday, October 18, 2007 THE Fiji Rugby Union's High Performance Unit is delighted at revelations that as many as eight of its players could join Australia Super 14 teams. The difference this time is that they will still be available to play for the Fiji side in the future. This comes as Australia Rugby Union chief executive John O'Neill told The Australian that he wanted to change the rules to allow foreign players recruited for the four Aussie franchises. This would include two foreign players from Fiji, Samoa and Tonga gaining selection for each of the four S14 teams. At present only players ,who are eligible for the Wallabies, are allowed to play for the Force, Waratahs, Brumbies and Reds. O'Neill unveiled his idea this week as Australia coach John Connolly admitting to a change of heart on the idea of foreigners playing in Australia's Super 14 teams. While still opposed to the idea of the four Australian clubs paying top dollars to bring in international stars that would be ineligible to play for Australia, Connolly now believes it makes sense for them to be allowed to recruit young foreign players who in time would qualify to play for the Wallabies. The islander idea, while open to the criticism that it would do little directly to improve the Wallabies, would in one stroke appease the Australian provinces which are clamoring to be allowed to import players while simultaneously lending real substance to Australia's promise to help Fiji, Tonga and Samoa. The new rule would see the eight players only play S14 rugby and not be eligible to represent Australia. "While we're going to be under the pump with Argentina (which is seeking admission to both the Super 14 and Tri-Nations competitions), there are some nations closer to home I'm far more revved up about," O'Neill said, referring to Australia's near-neighbours in the South Pacific. "Whatever we won't be introduced until 2009 at the earliest, but we've got an open mind on the subject of imports." FRU HPU manager Peter Murphy said should this happen, Fiji would like to push to get as many players as possible to join the four franchises. "We would like to get all eight places," Murphy said. "This is good news and shows Australia is starting to notice. It will be helpful to us as we would have our players involved in Super 14 and then be available for Pacific Nations Cup and test matches which start after the Super 14 final in May." He said playing in S14 would mean players are available and not committed during the national duties. "It is closer to home and viable for both Fiji and Australia," he said. New Zealand allows players from other countries who are not eligible for the All Blacks to play for its franchises.