In the timeless saga of rugby rivalries, a select few players have dared to tread the line between loyalty and crossing the divide between England and Wales.
While the Scots, French, and Irish harbor an annual desire to triumph over England, there’s a unique intensity when it comes to Wales. For the Welsh, rugby isn’t just a sport; it’s intertwined with their national identity, serving as a unifying force that transcends class divisions – a sentiment not mirrored in England. This match carries a distinctive fervor, sometimes working to Wales’ disadvantage.
Adding to the narrative is Wales’ impressive track record against England, setting the stage for a rivalry that is anything but one-sided. Welsh captain Phil Bennett once infused a team talk with raw emotion, declaring, “We’ve been exploited, raped, controlled, and punished by the English – and that’s who you are playing this afternoon.”
In this article, we delve into the stories of six players who’ve straddled the line, representing both nations in the rich tapestry of this historic rivalry.
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1. Ross Moriarty
The hulking back-rower, whose father is former Wales international Paul Moriarty, initially played for England at both U18 and U20 level, winning the IRB Junior World Championship in 2014.
However, he has since made his full international debut for Wales and has since won 54 caps while also representing the British & Irish Lions during their tour of New Zealand in 2017.