Wallabies winger Marika Koroibete has dropped a bombshell by announcing his omission from Australia’s tour to the northern hemisphere and may not ever play international rugby again.
The 29-year-old has scored 16 tries in 42 Tests since making his debut for Australia in 2017 and his raw pace and power make him one of the most dangerous wingers in world rugby.
The news was broken by Wallabies head coach Dave Rennie on Sunday in Japan.
“Covid’s thrown a lot of curveballs at all of us, obviously Marika’s been away from home for a long time,” said Rennie. “Emma’s (Koroibete’s wife) pretty isolated down there (in Melbourne).
“They’ve had a new born baby, they’ve got a couple of young boys, so based on that situation Marika’s chosen not to tour.”
With Koroibete out of the frame for the rest of this year, the Fijian-born speedster is due to join former Wallabies head coach Robbie Dean at the Panasonic Wild Knights in the Japanese Top League.
While the Wallabies have loosened their eligibility rules this year, Koroibete won’t qualify to play for Australia when he’s based overseas and due to the country’s strength-in-depth on the wing exceptions might not be made.
Currently there are six players coming from overseas clubs in the Wallabies squad to tour the UK including La Rochelle monster second row Will Skelton, but Rugby Australia is keen to drive players back to Super Rugby ahead of the 2023 World Cup in France.
“We’ll see how we come out of this tour,” added Rennie. “We’ve made a real commitment to the guys we’ve left behind to go straight on leave and to come back in November to have a decent off season and we’re very focused on maintaining that, which will mean we won’t look back at home to bring someone over.”
To showcase Koroibete’s impact for the Wallabies over the past few seasons, the below four-minute montage is full of his best tries, huge tackles and bruising carries at the very top level.