These are your rugby evening headlines for Thursday, November 21.

Australia consider scrapping 60-cap rule

Much like the Welsh Rugby Union, Rugby Australia are pondering whether to scrap their 60-cap selection policy.

The Wallabies used to have a hard stance on selection, which precluded the national team coach from selecting anyone who played their domestic rugby abroad.

That rule was relaxed before the 2015 Rugby World Cup, allowing players who have over 60 caps, like Matt Giteau to be selected even if they play outside the country.

The WRU took inspiration from the rule and brought in their own version in 2017.

Wallaby stars Samu Kerevi and Adam Coleman are now ineligible, having moved abroad following the 2019 World Cup.

Rugby Australia will now ponder whether they need to amend the rule in order to make sure their best talent remains available to them.

However, RA chief Raelene Castle warned: "Every rugby fan wants to see Super Rugby teams be successful, they want their heroes playing in their Super Rugby team.

"So it's a bigger conversation than just Wallabies success, it's about making sure we've got the right players playing within our Super Rugby franchises as well."

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Joe Schmidt admits to sleepless night after Japan defeat

Former Ireland boss Joe Schmidt has admitted he didn't sleep the night after his side lost to Japan at the Rugby World Cup.

In his new book, 'Ordinary Joe', Schmidt suggested his side were not 'mentally or emotionally right' for the game as their campaign unravelled.

"It's been a difficult twenty-four hours since losing to Japan," he wrote in a diary entry.

"I haven't slept, apart from a nap on the (bullet train), because I had such a knot in my stomach after the game.”

Italy call in interim boss for 2020 Six Nations

Former South Africa international Franco Smith with coach Italy on an interim basis during the 2020 Six Nations.

Rob Howley was being heavily linked with the Italy head coaching role as his contract with Wales approached its conclusion recently.

However, the chance has passed the former Wales scrum-half by as he now finds himself embroiled in a WRU investigation into an alleged breach of World Rugby's betting regulations.

Rob Howley during a Wales training session

The former attack coach was unceremoniously sent home from Japan in September as the bombshell news came to light. The controversy ruled him out of taking charge of the Azzurri.

As such, Italy have had to move swiftly to find a coach for the Six Nations, with a view to making a more permanent appointment next summer.

Hartley would be 'shocked' if Sarries stars turn back on England

Former England skipper Dylan Hartley doesn't expect any of Saracens' England contingent to turn their back on their country at next year's Six Nations.

Eddie Jones voiced concerns that some Sarries stars may feel the need to prioritise their club after the defending English champions were slapped with a 35 points deduction for breach the salary cap.

They now find themselves on -22 points, rooted to the bottom of the table, but Hartley still believes they'll turn up for England.

"You try and find me a player who doesn't want to play for his country. I'd be shocked if the Saracens players weren't playing for England," Hartley, who is a spokesperson for N-Pro headguards, told the PA News Agency.

Dylan Hartley and Owen Farrell

"Your club is your bread and butter, but no club would hold back a player. And when you've got 10 or 12 of those players, you might need them!

"It would be a brave decision not to play because then you open the door to someone else. It's almost like that decision you make at the end of the season not to tour and I've done that because of injury.

"It would be a bold decision to choose not to play for England and personally I can't see it happening."