5 'English Born' Players Representing Different Countries at the 2023 Rugby World Cup - Ruck

5 ‘English Born’ Players Representing Different Countries at the 2023 Rugby World Cup

Representing your country at the Rugby World Cup is on most career bucket lists of most players. However, some rugby stars get the opportunity to take to the field whilst wearing a different jersey than that of their place of birth.

The 2023 Rugby World Cup is a one of a kind competition. Every four years, the greatest international sides from across the globe come together, to battle it out to lift the prestigious Web Ellis Trophy.

Through ancestorial heritage, these five rugby stars were born or lived in England from a young age, yet will be representing different nations at the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Owen Farrell, Captain of England leads his side in the national anthem during the Autumn Nations International Series match between England and South Africa at Twickenham, London on 26 November 2022 (Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK)
  1. Hamish Watson – Scotland

Hamish Watson was born in Manchester in 1991, and grew up England until his first senior rugby contract took him North of the border. Despite his ties to England, the back-rower has always been eligible for Scotland through his Grandfather. At age group level, Watson was a force to be reckoned with throughout the Premiership’s developmental leagues, as he joined up with the Leicester Tigers Academy after being scouted from Oakham School in Rutland, East Midlands.

Final whistle celebrations for Scott Steele of Scotland and Hamish Watson of Scotland during the Six Nations Championship, 127th Calcutta Cup match between England and Scotland at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London on January 6 2021. – PHOTO: Phil Mingo/PPAUK

In 2011, Watson made the move to Scotland as he signed a contract with Edinburgh. The flanker has not looked back since, and has remained in the Scottish capital for his entire career.

The 31-year-old has just finished his 13th season with the club, with a 12th placed finish seeing his side miss out on any play-off hopes.

Watson soon garnered international recognition upon moving to Scotland, as within the same year of signing with Edinburgh, he made the Scotland U20s set-up.


He progressed into the Scottish national team, and made his first team debut against Italy in the 2015 Guinness Six Nations. The back-rower will hope for a better Rugby World Cup than in 2019, as he suffered a tournament-ending injury in the opening fixture against Ireland.

Inspired performances throughout following Six Nations Championships established Watson as a mainstay in the Scotland squad. His 2021 Player of the Championship accolade rightfully bolstered Watson’s reputation, and took him to South Africa for the 2021 British and Irish Lions Tour.

Watson will be eyeing up the 2023 Rugby World Cup with serious intent, to get over the injury nightmare of 2019, and send Scotland’s talisman Stuart Hogg out on a retirement high.