England number 8 Billy Vunipola could make the controversial swap to play for the Wallabies in just two years’ time.
The 29-year-old, born in Sydney in 1992, would be free to play for the Aussies when he completes his three-years stand down from international rugby in March 2024.
Vunipola has been exiled from the England setup since the disappointing 2021 Six Nations as Eddie Jones’s patience with the ‘difficult’ back-rower finally ran out.
Winning 61 caps since making his debut in 2013, reports down under suggest Aussie chiefs want to make contact with the powerhouse about a potential swap.
Tonga, who Billy’s Dad Fe’ao played for in the 1990s, also remain keen on the Saracens star.
- World Rugby introduce new law due to Rassie Erasmus
- Who are they?! Introducing England’s 10 uncapped players
- BREAKING: England announce 36-man training squad
- Bristol Bears confirms 11 departures with stars leaving the club
- “No days off” – Being a male ally to Women’s Rugby isn’t a part time role
5 players you didn’t know could swap nations in 2022, including Danny Cipriani
Below, we pick out five players you didn’t know could swap nations in 2022, including former England international Danny Cipriani.
#1. Zach Mercer (England to New Zealand)
- Age: 24
- Position: Number 8
- Current number of caps: 2
- Last cap: November, 2018
- Did you know? His father is former rugby league footballer and coach Gary Mercer, who played for New Zealand and the New Zealand Māori rugby league team
Making waves in the Top 14 and Europe with Montpellier, Mercer pulling on the famous All Black jersey would be as shocking a switch of nationality that the game has ever seen.
Described as ‘fat and lazy’ by England boss Eddie Jones before his international debut, this would be the ultimate way to prove the Aussie wrong.
The only drawback to the switch is to become eligible for New Zealand he’d have to join one of their Super Rugby sides.