Sam Underhill could now swap nations for next Rugby World Cup - Ruck

Sam Underhill could now swap nations for next Rugby World Cup

The latest eligibility laws by World Rugby have created a possibility for several renowned England players to represent a different country from their initial capped one, both in the present and upcoming years. 

These new regulations state that players can meet the transfer qualification criteria by abstaining from Test rugby for three years and being either born in the country they want to represent or have a parent or grandparent who was born there. 

Although some players are more likely to do so than others, here we discuss five players who could potentially switch.

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#1. Sam Underhill to USA

The Bath back-rower, originally hailing from Dayton, Ohio, possesses the potential to represent the United States due to his place of birth.

Following a temporary absence from the England national team, he could become eligible to join the USA squad.

According to the stipulations, a three-year period of ineligibility would be imposed after his final international appearance for England, which occurred during a match against Tonga in November 2021.

Consequently, he would be able to don the Eagles jersey starting from November 2024.

The USA’s recent failure to qualify for the 2023 Rugby World Cup necessitates any available assistance, and his inclusion would provide valuable support to the team.

During his childhood, his father Greg was stationed in Dayton with the RAF, yet the family relocated to Gloucester when he was approximately ten years old.

Considering his last appearance for England in 2022, he would have to wait until 2025 to represent the Eagles, coinciding with his age of just 30.

Sam Underhill of England during the Autumn Nations Match between England and South Africa at Twickenham Stadium on 20 November 2021. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK