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The amount of foreign-born players increases yet again for Autumn internationals

The hot topic of debate regarding player eligibility is to be looked at again. In this piece, RUCK takes an in-depth look at the foreign-born players in each of the home nations Autumn Internationals squad for 2017.

All told, the squads will have a grand total of 14 nations represented, including Canada, Fiji, the Philippines and the USA.

The Celtic nations each have players born in England. In total 20 English players will play for other countries in the tournament. The next highest producers, by birth, are New Zealand and South Africa who have nine and five respectively.

This means there has been another gradual increase with 43 players swapping countries, up from 41 earlier this year for the Six nations.

ENGLAND – Seven players

Stuart Lancaster had the foreign-born players on his World Cup roster. Eddie Jones swiftly went about making personal changes in 2016. This included increasing the number of players born outside of England to 12. In 2017 the number stands at seven though it would likely be higher if Manu Tuilagi and Billy Vunipola were available.
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  1. Dylan Hartley – hooker – born in New Zealand – Parent
  2. Mako Vunipola – prop – born in New Zealand – Parent
  3. Sam Underhill – flanker – born in the USA – Parent
  4. Nathan Hughes – number 8 – born in Fiji – Residency (2016)
  5. Marcus Smith – fly-half – born in the Philippines – Residency 
  6. Denny Solomona – winger – born in New Zealand – Residency (2017) 
  7. Semesa Rokoduguni – winger – Fiji – Residency 

1 Response

  1. I respect your research and evidence, but the argument has no substance other than to be exclusive.
    A country like England has the largest collective of domestic rugby players–that reflects their mixed society. The team also reflects that.
    Smaller nations probably have less immigrants and select from players that are the worthy of selection — neither country has brought in imports that a specifically cultivated to play rugby.
    Bundee Aki is an interesting player who qualifies for Ireland; but provided he contributes to the society and is committed to living in Ireland, it is that choice that then means he can represent Ireland.

    You have a case, and it looks worse by the numbers, but do include the comment that society is changing and the rules that govern eligibility have increased to 5 years now. If they contribute to that nation, then why can’t they represent the nation where they are residing?
    It’s a fair reflection on the diversity in the World…..not selection that is inhibiting any other players.
    Not that I can see.

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