England fans urge RFU to relax rules for number 8 who 'can now swap nations' - Ruck

England fans urge RFU to relax rules for number 8 who ‘can now swap nations’

Back rower Zach Mercer won the last of his two England caps in 2018 and has been out of contention since joining French big-spenders Montpellier from Bath last summer.

Mercer, 24, has been in the form of his life and was named players of the match as his side romped to the Top14 title with a 29-10 win against Castres.

As a result, the Rugby Football Union’s policy of not allowing foreign-based players to be picked has come back onto the agenda, especially due to the absence of Alex Dombrandt and Sam Simmonds due to injury.

Even worse for England, due to the length of time since his last cap, Mercer could now realistically swap nations prior to the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Mercer is the son  former rugby league footballer and coach Gary Mercer, who played for New Zealand and the New Zealand Māori rugby league team.

He would therefore be eligible to play for the All Blacks if he moved there while he also previously played for Scotland U16 in his younger days.

DID YOU KNOW? Mercer is of Māori ancestry


4 players you didn’t know could swap nations in 2022, including Danny Cipriani

#1. Matt Kvesic

  • Age: 29
  • Position: Back-row
  • Current number of caps: 4
  • Last cap: September, 2019
  • Did you know? Born in Germany to English parents, Kvesic made his senior debut for Worcester in the Anglo-Welsh Cup against the Scarlets on 14 November 2009, becoming the youngest player to represent the Warriors in the professional era
Exeter Chiefs player Matt Kvesic during the warm up before the Gallagher Premiership rugby game between Sale Sharks and Exeter Chiefs at JW Bell Stadium on March 2nd – PHOTO: Steve Bond/PPAUK