Home > Rugby News > The ‘Homegrown’ England XV: This proves they don’t rely on foreign talent


Since the dawn of professionalism, England has been accused by many of relying heavily on foreign-born talent to bolster its ranks at the highest level of the sport.

Yet, when we look at England’s current crop of players, very few were born and/or bred outside of the country.

We have to take away the Vunipola brothers – Mako and Billy – who were born in Australasia and raised in Wales when following their rugby playing Tongan father Fe’ao around the world.

The ‘homegrown’ team would, therefore, look like this:

1) Joe Marler

2) Jamie George

3) Dan Cole

4) Maro Itoje

5) George Kruis

6) Chris Robshaw

7) James Haskell

8) Sam Simmonds

9) Ben Youngs

10) George Ford

11) Jack Nowell

12) Owen Farrell

13) Jonathan Joseph

14) Anthony Watson

15) Mike Brown

Overall verdict

What do these numbers therefore tell us? Well, England is now leaning more and more on its academies rather than resorting to the residency rules to fill in gaps. Over 82 per cent of players were born in the country or qualified through parentage.

So, the next time someone tries to tell you the England team is made up of foreign-born players, you know they’re living in a post-truth world.

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