Two more England internationals exile themselves with moves to Super Rugby - Ruck

Two more England internationals exile themselves with moves to Super Rugby

The Western Force’s spree in the transfer market remains in full swing, as they secure the services of England international Nic Dolly for the upcoming 2025 Super Rugby Pacific season.

Join the RUCK’s WhatsApp community here and get the latest news sent straight to your messages.

This latest addition to the Force’s roster comes amidst efforts to revitalise their campaign following a lacklustre start to the season.

Hailing from Sydney, Dolly brings a wealth of experience from his seven-year stint in England, notably representing Premiership club Leicester Tigers.

This move opens the door for Dolly to be considered for selection by the Wallabies, should head coach Joe Schmidt decide to summon him for the Autumn Internationals later this year.

He becomes eligible this November with his only England cap coming three years ago against South Africa.

Guy Porter, also leaving Tigers, is primed to sign for an Australian Super Rugby franchise.

Porter, who won his sixth England cap in the World Cup warm-up against Wales last summer, moved to Australia when he was seven and played for Sydney University while he studied law.

He also turned out for Sydney Stars and Sydney Rays and had a spell with the ACT Brumbies before moving to the Tigers, where he has seen his stock rise after making over 65 appearances.

Reports now suggest the outside-centre will join an Australian Super Rugby franchise rather than continue to ply his trade in the Gallagher Premiership.

Guy Porter of England during the England Rugby Training Sessions at The Lensbury Hotel, Teddington, London on 26 Jun 2023 (Photo: George Beck/PPAUK)


Fullback: Israel Folau (Australia), replaced by Leigh Halfpenny (Wales)

Owens said: “For me, it’s nip and tuck between Halfpenny and Folau, next to nothing to choose between them. Leigh is brilliant because under the high ball and with his kicking at goal under pressure. He may not always break the line when running but puts his body on the line in defence and is a top-notch match-winner.”

Winger: Stuart Hogg (Scotland)

Owens said: “How can you fail to be impressed when watching Hogg play. He’s so exciting as he burst into that line and, of course, was named Six Nations player of the tournament.

“I know he’s a full-back for Scotland, but he is so quick and direct he could easily play on the wing. He reminds me a bit of Shane Williams with some of the things he does.

“When you see who is on the other wing in my team, you’ll see how they would work brilliantly in tandem.”

Outside-centre: Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland)

Owens said: “Not only is he one of the greatest centres in the history of rugby union but he’s a fantastic man off the field as well. O’Driscoll has been a wonderful ambassador for the sport and a real leader. He always respected referees and set the right example for others to follow.

“A legend of the game who conducted himself superbly, on and off the pitch.”

Inside-centre: Ma’a Nonu (New Zealand), replaced by Owen Farrell (England)

Owens praised Farrell as a player on numerous occasions.

On one occasion he wrote: “I can only speak from my own experience of refereeing him and, when I did, he was an excellent captain to deal with.

“I have a huge amount of respect for him as a player and a person. He always knew where the line was with me.

“I would say to him that he could always come and talk to me as long as it was at the right time and in the right tone and he always did that.”

Winger: Shane Williams (Wales)

Owens said: “When people ask me who is the best player I have refereed it’s pretty much an impossible task to pick one because I’ve been lucky enough to take charge of so many greats.

“But if I’m pushed, I would pick Shane for what he achieved after coming from football at 17 or 18 years of age.

“He was in the mould of Gerald Davies in how he left defenders gasping for air as he beat them with those dazzling sidesteps. Nobody would fancy defending against a back three of Shane, Hogg and Folau, I can tell you that.”