Ed Slater tops list of five best players who never played for England - Ruck

Ed Slater tops list of five best players who never played for England

All of the players on this list, whether it be on the grounds of their ability or achievements can be considered very unlucky to never be capped for England.

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Since England’s first international fixture in 1871, over 1400 players have donned the famous white jersey.

Over the years, a number of high profile, talented players have been controversially overlooked, sparking outrage and debate amongst fans and the media alike.

A proud moment and a dream come true for each and every one of them. But for some, that’s all it will ever be, a dream.

Here are our top 5 players to never be capped by England:


The versatile former lock, adept at blindside flanker and number eight positions, forged an unconventional path to success, honing his skills in Australia before a seven-year stint at Leicester.

Despite earning four appearances for the Saxons, Slater’s tenure at Welford Road saw him narrowly miss out on a coveted England cap, despite five call-ups. His move to Gloucester, in exchange for Jonny May, endeared him to fans, becoming a cherished figure in the Cherry & Whites.

However, Slater’s career took a poignant turn when he revealed his diagnosis of motor neurone disease in July 2022, prompting his immediate retirement from the sport.

Joining the ranks of others affected by the disease like Doddie Weir and Rob Burrow, Slater’s announcement highlighted the ongoing battles faced by those afflicted with tremendous courage and resolve.

The 4Ed foundation has since been established, raising over £65,000 to help support families in Gloucestershire dealing with MND.

We’d like to see the RFU present Slater with an England cap in the near future.