Steve Borthwick's first debutant already wants to quit England and play for Wales - Ruck

Steve Borthwick’s first debutant already wants to quit England and play for Wales

Steve Borthwick’s first England debutant has already expressed his willingness to potentially swap nations to play for a Six Nations rival in 2026.

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Despite earning two caps for England during last year’s Six Nations, Ollie Hassle-Collins hasn’t been included in a squad since then.

Notably, the 25-year-old was also absent from England A’s recent triumph over Portugal earlier this year.

Ahead of the 2024 Six Nations, Gatland had mentioned Hassell-Collins several times, especially during the discussion surrounding another dual-qualified winger, Immanuel Feyi-Waboso, who eventually opted to play for England.

“I have seen Gatland’s interview,” Hassell-Collins told the Telegraph.

“I’ve got two caps for England, and obviously I’m English. But if I don’t see anything in the next few years then it’s definitely something that I would consider.

“I would qualify [for Wales] the year of the World Cup – that is, if he still wants me. Wales is still part of who I am.

“My grandma was Welsh and I still have family over there. It’s still a part of me – and I’d never turn it down – but for now it’s England for me.”

Hassell-Collins represented England at U18s and U20s levels and competed in the 2019 Six Nations Under 20s Championship. He also featured in the England Sevens team at the 2019 Paris Sevens.

His rugby journey began at a young age, playing club rugby for Newbury RFC prior to joining the London Irish Academy at 16. He made his debut in the Championship against the Cornish Pirates, before playing in the top flight of English rugby when the Exiles were promoted a year later. 

“Re-imagination” – England handed easy pool for 2027 Rugby World Cup

The new format will feature six pools of four teams, with a round of 16 added prior to the quarter-finals.

This will enable the tournament window to be reduced from seven to six weeks, while promoting a rhythm that builds momentum across the pool phase and respects the same minimum number of rest days between matches as at France 2023.

If the 2027 Rugby World Cup Draw was made tomorrow, this is what the Pools may look like (based on rankings)

2027 Rugby World Cup draw (Current rankings)


  • South Africa
  • Japan
  • Georgia
  • Hong Kong
Siya Kolisi, Captain of South Africa celebrates after the Rugby World Cup Final match between New Zealand and South Africa at Stade De France, Paris on 29 October 2023 (Photo: Micah Crook/PPAUK)


  • Ireland
  • Fiji
  • Samoa
  • Chile
James Lowe of Ireland during the Autumn Nations Cup match between England and Ireland at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London on November 21 2020. – PHOTO: Phil Mingo/PPAUK