"100 per cent” – England number 8 reveals he still wants to swap nations - Ruck

“100 per cent” – England number 8 reveals he still wants to swap nations

Former England number 8 Nathan Hughes has announced his availability for Fiji this summer, setting the stage for captivating encounters against the Barbarians and the All Blacks.

The formidable player, currently showcasing his prowess with the Tokyo Black Rams in Japan, has notched up an impressive tally of six tries this season.

When asked if he’d be open to swapping nations, he told Rugby Pass: “Yes, 100 per cent,”

He added: “I’m just focusing purely on Black Rams and just playing as well as I can and letting the selectors do their job.

“The coaches and their staff are all in Europe at the moment and I’m not sure when they will be coming to Japan. We’ll wait until the day comes.

“If he picks me, we will make the decision then, but we have got two more games to go (at Black Rams) and we are trying to finish as high as we can up the table and go from there.”

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 Five England players set to swap nations after falling out of favour 

While the decision to switch national teams remains speculative, there are five players who could be considering such a move. Additionally, there are other notable names, such as Sam Underhill and Manu Tuilagi, who could also potentially swap nations. Underhill could opt for the USA, while Tuilagi may consider representing Samoa, given their respective birthplaces.

Furthermore, the Vunipola brothers, Mako and Billy, might contemplate switching to Tonga, the birthplace of their father, under these new eligibility laws.

#1. Ollie Hassell-Collins (Wales)

The Leicester Tigers winger, who was given his debut by Borthwick in 2023, has expressed his willingness to potentially represent Wales in 2026.

Despite earning two caps for England during last year’s Six Nations, the 25-year-old hasn’t been included in Steve Borthwick’s squad since then. Notably, he was absent from England A’s recent triumph over Portugal.

Ahead of this year’s Six Nations, Gatland had mentioned Hassell-Collins several times, especially during the discussion surrounding another dual-qualified winger, Immanuel Feyi-Waboso.

“I have seen Gatland’s interview,” Hassell-Collins told the Telegraph.

“I’ve got two caps for England, and obviously I’m English. But if I don’t see anything in the next few years then it’s definitely something that I would consider.

“I would qualify [for Wales] the year of the World Cup – that is, if he still wants me. Wales is still part of who I am.

“My grandma was Welsh and I still have family over there. It’s still a part of me – and I’d never turn it down – but for now it’s England for me.”