As of January 1, 2022, capped players will be allowed to transfer allegiance so long as they have spent the previous three years out of the international game and have “a close and credible link via birthright” to the country they are switching to. In practice, this means that they, a parent or a grandparent must have been born in that country.
Dempsey, who joined Glasgow Warriors last summer, has a grandfather from Glasgow, and last played for Australia in October 2019. He admitted earlier this week to having mixed emotions as he watched Scotland’s recent Autumn Test match against Australia.
“I’ve got a foot in both camps now,” he said. “I know a lot of the players with Scotland and I’m contributing to that culture so there was a part of me thinking it was great to see Matt Fagerson running out there in the No 8 jersey. I wanted him to go well whereas in the past I wouldn’t.”
However, he was speaking before the law change was announced, and his main focus was on helping Glasgow hit the ground running when they return to United Rugby Championship action with an away match against Benetton on Saturday.
The 27-year-old was one of the team’s stand-out performers during the first five matches of the 2021-22 campaign but insists that there is room for improvement.
“We reviewed the first block of games extensively during the international break and there are a lot of things I need to work on personally,” he said. “From the moment I came in the door, it was about making sure I was putting my best foot forward and showing what I could do. If the weather gets worse, we might have to play a tighter game, more of a set-piece game, and that was one of the big reasons I moved here, to work on that.”
Having won three of their five matches played so far, Warriors are currently sixth in the United Rugby Championship table, three points off the pace for play-off qualification. Head coach Danny Wilson will name his team for Saturday’s away match at noon on Saturday.