Rob Andrew: ‘We Don’t Want our Players to Play Overseas’

The RFU has announced today that they will be reluctant to consider overseas players for England selection after the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Several members of the current squad ply their trade in France, including Tom Palmer, Jonny Wilkinson and James Haskell, and they’ll all face big decisions in the next couple of years.

Rob Andrew was clear in saying that he doesn’t want ‘all of our young English players to go and play overseas’, and made it clear that they would be risking their international careers if they were to do so.

The warning is that any players based outside of England following the next World Cup would only be selected for national duty under “exceptional circumstances”.

Here’s a brief audio clip featuring the RFU Elite Rugby Director speaking on the matter – you can hear the full clip in the RFU Podcast this week.


5 thoughts on “Rob Andrew: ‘We Don’t Want our Players to Play Overseas’

  1. And exceptional circumstances are what exactly? Surely the rule has to absolute if it’s going to work, otherwise any regular member of the squad knows they are exempt from it.

  2. So the rule may as well be: If you’re and England player and you go abroad, you’ll get picked because you’re needed, and if you’re not an England player and you go abroad you won’t get picked? On a positive note, this may mean no Haskell! Joe El Abd on the other hand will be a big loss.

  3. It sounds like the RFU are trying to take a similar line to other nations, whilst recognising that they don’t want to hamstring themselves by ruling them out completely if one of their star players opts to play abroad.

    With this caveat it’s no more than a weak attempt to keep players in England where they would have more control over their time and rehab when injured.

  4. Actually, I agree in this case. If a player goes elsewhere to play (to another country), why should he be allowed to play for the country on which he turned his back? Money isn’t everything.

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