South African forward eyes England call-up after qualifying

Northampton Saints prop Francois van Wyk has declared that he would love to wear the red rose in the not too distant future.

After joining Saints in the summer of 2017, the 29-year-old has established himself as a first-team regular at Franklin’s Gardens in the front row.

“I’m English-qualified this month and that’s exciting because I’d like to have a good year now and hopefully things will work out for me,” van Wyk told the Rugby Paper.

“When I first came to England, I never knew how long I was going to stay and in my first year I was a bit nervous about whether I’d get contracted again.

“But once Chris Boyd arrived, along with our scrum coach Matt Ferguson, I stayed and they’ve helped me a lot.

“At Western Force I had injury after injury and only managed 20 games in four years, so mentally I was at a stage where I couldn’t deal with it.

“But coming to Saints has been the best thing ever for my career and I’ve played a lot of games in my three years so far.”


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5 foreign players who could be capped by England when rugby returns

Here are five players who could also pull on the white jersey in the near future:

1. Ruan Ackermann – Gloucester (South Africa)

His Dad Johan Ackermann, who departed as Gloucester boss for Japan earlier this month, confirmed that his son will be staying with the Cherry & Whites to persue international honours, and has already been in contact with Eddie Jones. The imposing number eight qualify for England on residency grounds in August 2020 — just four months before World Rugby’s new eligibility laws kick in.

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