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97 Welsh-qualified players in English Premiership and Championship

Tooting Carmen

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https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport...lified-gallagher-premiership-england-16257798

There been a big focus on English-based Welsh players of late with ten of them having been selected in Wayne Pivac's Six Nations squad and much talk about the regions targeting exiled stars.

We also know the WRU maintain an extensive data base on all the Welsh-qualified players across the bridge, both youngsters and established professionals.

So, just how many of them are there?

Rugby correspondent Simon Thomas keeps a close watch on the English exiles and here's the list of those on the books of clubs in England's top two flights.

AMPTHILL

Jarryd Sage - The former Dragons centre was born in South Africa, but is Welsh-qualified through his father. Following spells with the Golden Lions and Southern Kings, he moved to Wales in 2017 and made 23 appearances for the Men of Gwent before joining Paul Turner's Ampthill last summer.

Syd Blackmore - Son of former Wales prop Steve Blackmore, he played his junior rugby with Llandaff RFC, went on to captain Hartpury College and was on the books of Bath as a flanker. Has been converted to a hooker by Championship new boys Ampthill.

Henri Williams - A 25-year-old second row who was on loan from Paul Turner's former team, the Dragons, last season and signed a permanent deal ahead of this term. He’s the son of former Bridgend and Cardiff favourite Owain Williams.

Gavin Williams - North Walian scrum-half, once on the books of Wasps. His brother Rhys plays rugby league for London Broncos and his sister Sian was Wales’ first professional female rugby player.

Jac Arthur - Played his junior rugby with Nantyffylon and Ospreys U16s. The 21-year-old back five forward came on board from Cardiff Met last summer.

BATH

Taulupe Faletau -
The Wales and Lions No 8 was signed from the Dragons in 2016, but his time at The Rec has been hampered by a series of injuries. He’s missed the bulk of last season through two arm breaks and the first half of this term following the collar bone fracture which ruled him out of the World Cup. Back fit again now.

Rhys Priestland -
Back at the start of last year, it looked as though the 48-cap former Scarlets outside-half would be leaving Bath at the end of that season. But then, in April, he agreed a new two-year deal and has been on fine form of late.

Max Clark -
Born in Bridgend, but has represented England at U16, U17, U18 and U20s levels and turned down a Wales tour call-up in the summer of 2017 to keep alive his chances of wearing the red rose at Test level. Signed a new contract at the Rec just under a year ago. Has been sidelined since October due to hamstring surgery.

Aled Brew - After a tough two years at the Dragons, the international wing joined Bath on a short-term deal in September 2016 and went on to revive his career in the west country. Now in the veteran category at 33.

Rhys Davies - The 6ft 6ins Swansea-born second row has appeared for Wales at U18 and U20 level. Signed a long-term Academy contract with Bath ahead of the 2017-18 season. Now 21, he is starting to make his mark at first-team level, showing up well against Harlequins in Europe earlier this month.

Archie Griffin - Part of the Exiles programme, prop Griffin appeared for Wales U18s in 2018 while representing Marlborough College. He moving up to the senior Bath Academy last summer.

Jack Davies - The 24-year-old former Cowbridge comprehensive pupil was previously with the Cardiff Blues Academy and then Bristol. A back-five forward, who was born in Swindon, he has represented Wales Students, as well as Spain U18s!

BEDFORD

Huw Worthington - The 25-year-old back rower from farming stock in Montgomeryshire attracted the attentions of a number of clubs with his performances for RGC, but it was Bedford he chose a couple of years ago.

Lewis Robling - Made 39 appearances for the Dragons at centre and fly-half. The Newport-born 28-year-old spent three seasons with Jersey and one with Ealing Trailfinders before joining Bedford.

Ed Taylor - The elder brother of the Dragons’ Huw Taylor and, like him, a back-five forward. They qualify for Wales through a grandparent.

BRISTOL

Callum Sheedy
- Born and bred in Cardiff, he moved to the west country to attend Millfield School and signed for Bristol in 2014. Has really impressed at fly-half in the Premiership over the past couple of seasons. As well as the land of his birth, he is also eligible for Ireland through family and for England on residency. Played for England against the Barbarians last June, but that was a non-cap match, so he is not tied to them and his international options remain open.

Ryan Edwards - Only had the one game for the Dragons prior to joining Bristol in 2012. The 29-year-old Newport-born wing has made 82 appearances for them, scoring 25 tries.

Toby Fricker - Born in England, but has played for Wales Sevens through his father hailing from Builth Wells. Made a surprise move from Ebbw Vale last March and has gone on to be a wing regular for Premiership Bristol this season.

Ioan Lloyd - Born and bred in Cardiff, the former Glantaf pupil played his junior rugby for St Peters RFC, CRICC, Cardiff Schools and the Blues U16s, before moving over the bridge to Clifton College. His huge talent was recognised when Bristol signed him up on a four-year deal at the age of 17. Starred at fly-half for Wales U18s last year and has already made his mark at senior level, with a coupe of try-scoring cameos as a back-three sub for Bristol this season.

Jac Lloyd - The younger brother of Ioan. Another fly-half, another big talent. Part of the Bristol Academy, currently studying at Clifton College.

Harry Randall - Grew up in the Amman Valley and captained Wales U16s, but was born in Slough and switched allegiance to the land of his birth, playing for England U20s. Just turned 22, the livewire scrum-half has made a big impression since joining from Gloucester.

Mat Protheroe - Born in Swansea, he went to study at Hartpury after failing to get into the Ospreys U16s side towards the end of 2013 and was snapped up with Gloucester. Has represented England at U18s and U20s level. Had a year out with knee ligament damage after switching to Bristol in 2017, but has been back firing this season. Having started out as a fly-half, the back three is now his domain.

Dan Thomas - The former Wales U20s flanker has been in the west country since leaving the Scarlets in 2014. Like Protheroe, he moved from Gloucester in 2017 and has gone from strength to strength at Bristol.

Nicky Thomas - Made no fewer than 20 appearances for Wales U20s, playing in the 2013 Junior World Championship final against England. The Swansea-born tight-head prop has has spells with Gloucester, the Ospreys, the Scarlets and the Dragons.

Jack Capon - Part of the Welsh Exiles programme, the young back rower joined Bristol in 2016. Has been playing BUCS rugby for Exeter University.

Nick English - The tight-head prop from Caldicot was part of the Wales U20s squad for last summer's World Junior Championship in Argentina.

CORNISH PIRATES

Rhodri Davies - From Crymych in Pembrokeshire, the 28-year-old scrum-half was signed from the Dragons, having had previous spells with the Scarlets and Rotherham.

Alex Schwarz - Bodelwyddan-born, he played his early rugby at Mold RFC and then linked up with RGC, winning honours for Wales U18s. A scrum-half, he has also played for Italian side Rugby Colorno, joining the Pirates in 2018.

Craig Mitchell - Won 15 caps for Wales between 2009 and 2013. Now 33, his career has seen him do propping service for the Ospreys, Exeter, Cardiff Blues and the Dragons.

Jean-Baptiste Bruzulier - The Cardiffian scrum-half is a former Saracens academy player who had two spells in France, with Le Pays d’Aix and Nevers, as well as a stint at Worcester.

COVENTRY

Gerard Ellis - English-born, but eligible for Wales through his father and was capped at age-grade level. Now 26, the loose-head prop joined from the Dragons in February of last year, having made 27 appearances from the Men of Gwent.

Will Owen - The centre was previously a member of the Dragons academy during which time he also appeared for Ebbw Vale and Cross Keys in the Welsh Premiership.
 

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DONCASTER

Rory Pitman - Now 30, the Bridgend-born back rower had spells with the Ospreys and the Scarlets, as well as playing for Swansea and his home-town club. Joined Doncaster on a short term deal and impressed enough to be handed a further contract for this season.

Jack Roberts - His time at Cardiff Blues was plagued by injuries following his arrival from Leicester. The north Walian centre went on loan from the Arms Park towards the end of last season, ahead of a permanent move to Castle Park.

Lloyd Hayes - Hails from Flintshire and played his junior rugby with Mold RFC before catching the eye as a hard-running centre with Chester, earning a move to Rotherham and then switching to the Knights.

Dan Suter - Spent five years with the Ospreys and then a couple of seasons at the Dragons. Born in Neath, he earned representative honours with Wales U18s and U20s. Had a spell propping for Otorohanga out in Waikato ahead of arriving in Yorkshire.

Joe Sproston - This north Walian prop spent five years with Paul Turner’s current club Ampthill before moving to Doncaster in 2015. A strong carrier who can pack down either side.

Owen Evans - Son of former Wales prop Ricky Evans, the Cardigan-born loosehead, who will be 31 next month, has had previous stints with the Scarlets, Dragons and Harlequins.

Kyle Evans - Named the Welsh Principality Premiership Player of the Season in 2017/18, the winger signed with the Knights on a two-year deal after an impressive three years with Merthyr RFC.

EALING TRAILFINDERS

Steve Shingler - The former Wales tourist left Cardiff Blues last March to join French Division Two side Stade Montois on a short-team arrangement and then secured a deal with Ealing for this season. Has been racking up the points from fly-half for the Championship club.

Dan Hiscocks - A talented young scrum-half who has represented Wales at U16s and U19s. From Brecon, he was previously part of the Ospreys age grade pathway. Had a number of games on loan from the Ealing Trailfinders Academy for London Welsh in the first half of this season and is now out at Blackheath.

Max Davies - Born on Merseyside and has played for England U18s, U19s and U20s, but this former Newcastle lock is Welsh-qualified.

Kieran Murphy - Made 41 appearances in the Scarlets back row before arriving at Ealing via Brive and London Welsh. Born in Aberdeen, but moved to Swansea when he was two.

James Cordy-Redden - Has Welsh grandparents and played on the wing for the Welsh Academicals and Welsh Students, as well as Cross Keys.

EXETER

Tomas Francis - Qualifies for Wales through his Abercrave-born grandmother and now has 48 caps. Able to stay with Exeter through repeat renewal options in his contract. York-born, he had earlier spells with Doncaster and London Scottish. He's currently sidelined having undergone shoulder surgery after being injured in the World Cup semi-final defeat to South Africa.

Alex Cuthbert - Born in Gloucester, he has won 47 caps for Wales, qualifying through his Wrexham-born mother. Made the move from Cardiff Blues in 2018, but has been restricted to 21 appearances for the Chiefs due to injury issues and underwent hamstring surgery last month.

Phil Dollman - The Caerphilly-born full-back been a fantastic servant for Exeter since joining them from the Dragons in 2009, making 231 appearances.

Sean Lonsdale - Went to school in Colwyn Bay and caught the eye at lock for RGC before making the move to Sandy Park in 2016. Figures mainly in the back row for the Chiefs.

Tom Price - Born in Leamington Spa and represented England at U20s, but Welsh qualified and was with the Scarlets for three years before switching to bolster Exeter's second row department last year.

Christ Tshiunza - Still a pupil at Whitchurch High School in Cardiff, he signed a four-year Academy deal with Exeter last summer. A product of Rhiwbina RFC, he's a 6ft 6ins second row who has played for Wales U18s.

Iwan Jenkins - A former pupil of Y Pant School, in Talbot Green, the teenage fly-half was signed up by the Chiefs on an Academy contract last year.

GLOUCESTER

Owen Williams - The former Scarlets fly-half moved to Kingsholm in 2017 after four successful years with Leicester. His last Wales cap came more than two years ago, but he is back on board in the Six Nations squad after nine months sidelined with a knee injury. Is out of contract at the end of this season.

Louis Rees-Zammit - What a season it's been for the teenager from Llandaff. Has lit up the Premiership and Europe with his try-scoring exploits and has been called-up to the Wales Six Nations squad. Signed an extended senior contract with Gloucester earlier this month.

Lewis Ludlow - Qualifies for Wales through his grandfather and trained with the U18s squad, but the Bedford-born back rower went on to represent England at age group.

Harry Fry - Schooled in Radyr and started out at Pentyrch RFC, but made his debut at prop for England U18s last year having gone down the well-trodden Hartpury/Gloucester Academy path.

Stephen Varney - Born and bred in Pembokeshire, yet has played at scrum-half for Italy U18s, who he qualifies for through his mother. He's the son of former Neath flanker Adrian Varney.

Alex Morgan - The Cardiff-born winger was in the Wales U20s Six Nations squad last year. Has made one senior appearance for Gloucester.

Lloyd Evans - Born in Gloucester and has played for England at U18s and U20s, but the 24-year-old fly-half’s father is Welsh. Started at No 10 for the Cherry & Whites out in Toulouse last weekend.

Tommy Mathews - The centre played alongside Rees-Zammit - and against Varney - for Wales U18s in last year's Six Nations festival.
 

Tooting Carmen

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HARLEQUINS

Scott Baldwin - After the best part of a decade with the Ospreys and 34 caps for Wales, the 31-year-old Bridgend-born hooker headed for pastures new at The Stoop last summer. Underwent surgery after sustaining a neck injury against Clermont Auvergne in November.

Harry Barlow - A centre who helped England beat Wales in an U19s international in Bridgend last year, but also Welsh-qualified through a grandparent.

HARTPURY RFC

Jordan Liney - A former Wales U18s hooker who was previously with the Bristol Academy, having studied at Hartpury College.

JERSEY

Tom Williams - The younger brother of international scrum-half Lloyd Williams, winger Tom headed for island life after spells with the Scarlets and Cardiff Blues.

Luc Jones - The son of ex-Dragons boss Lyn Jones, who he played under at Rodney Parade, this Neath-born scrum-half has also been at Harlequins and Richmond.

Rory Bartle - Withdrew from the U20s squad in March 2015, so as not to tie himself to Wales. The Pontypridd-born back rower was previously skipper at London Scottish.

LEICESTER

Jonah Holmes - The back three man, who qualifies through his grandparents, made his Wales debut in November 2018 and is part of the recently selected Six Nations squad. Had stints at Wasps, Rosslyn Park, Henley and Yorkshire Carnegie before arriving at Welford Road in 2017.

Joe Thomas - After being released by the Ospreys at the end of last season, the former Wales U20s centre headed out to New Zealand to play for the Otorohanga club in King Country, Waikato, and ended up being handed a deal by the Tigers.

Tommy Reffell - Has captained Wales U18s and U20s. The flanker played his junior rugby at Pencoed RFC and was part of the Ospreys U16s set-up. Joined Leicester in 2017 and has been getting a fair bit of game-time this season.

Sam Costelow - Another product of Pencoed RFC, who his father and grandfather both played for. The gifted fly-half is part of Wales’ U20s Six Nations squad. Looks set to head home to join the Scarlets for next season.

Joe Heyes - An intriguing one this. The 20-year-old prop was born in Nottingham and has starred for England U20s. But he's the son of Swansea-born professional football goalkeeper Darren Heyes and the grandson of former Swansea City goalkeeper, George Heyes.

Greg Bateman - Born in Surrey and represented England at age group, but the front rower is believed to be Welsh qualified through his grandmother.

LONDON IRISH

George Nott - Born in Llandudno and educated in Chester, the 24-year-old is primarily a lock who can also cover the flank. Has represented England at U18s and U20s. Joined London Irish from Sale last summer, having made 36 appearances for the Salford-based club.

LONDON SCOTTISH

Joe Luca Smith - Comfortable at both full back and wing, Smith arrived from Newcastle University on trial and was then signed up. Eligible for Wales through his grandfather


NEWCASTLE

Gareth Owen - After two years with Leicester, the Bridgend-born centre signed for the Falcons ahead of this season. Made more than 100 regional appearances in Wales, during spells with the Ospreys and Scarlets.

Johnny Williams - Born in Reading, he made a try-scoring appearance for England in the uncapped match against the Barbarians last June. But his father, Gareth, is from North Wales and he remains eligible. A stylish centre, he joined the Falcons from London Irish. Revealed last year he had been diagnosed with testicular cancer, but, after treatment, he returned to rugby this month.

Jack Payne - He was born in Darwin, Australia, and now plays his rugby in the north east of England. But he’s Welsh qualified, being brought over from Queensland Reds by the Scarlets as a flanker in 2014. Now packs down at prop.

NORTHAMPTON

Dan Biggar - The Wales fly-half is enjoying life in England following his move from the Ospreys and has been in outstanding form for Saints. Will be a key man in the forthcoming Six Nations.

NOTTINGHAM

Llewellyn Jones - Came up through the ranks at Haverfordwest and made four appearances for the Scarlets, while also packing down at lock for Carmarthen Quins. Previously with Ealing Trailfindeers.

David Williams - The winger scored two tries in Ebbw Vale’s Premiership final victory over Pontypridd in 2016 before heading for Robin Hood country for his studies.
 

Tooting Carmen

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SALE

WillGriff John - On the books of Cardiff Blues for a spell, the tight-head prop from Ferndale spent two seasons with Northlands in New Zealand before joining Doncaster. Moved to Sale in 2017 and has established himself as one of the most solid citizens in the Premiership, his consistent form earning him a Six Nations call-up from Wayne Pivac.

Sam Moore - Has represented England at age grade, but has been wanted by Wales. Born in Cardiff, the 21-year-old No 8 is the son of former international second row Steve Moore. Has been hampered by injuries over the last year or so and has had limited opportunities, with just eight outings for his club to date and only one this season.

Joe Jones - The former Cardiff Blues prop was signed from Perpignan. He's from Mold, in north Wales.

Rouban Birch - Born in Stockport, but his family hail from Swansea. A 20-year-old lock forward who has figured in Welsh age grade teams.

Teddy Leatherbarrow - This 19-year-old back rower from Cheshire has represented both Scotland and England, but is also Welsh-qualified through his mother.

SARACENS

Liam Williams - Became just the 11th Welshman to win the European Cup last season. Established himself as one of the most potent attackers in the English Premiership after arriving in 2017, figuring mainly on the wing. Will be rejoining the Scarlets for next season, if not sooner. On his way back towards fitness after shoulder surgery.

Rhys Carre - The 21-year-old former Corpus Christi and Cowbridge Comprehensive pupil left Cardiff Blues at the end of last season. Was uncapped at the time, but ended up playing in a World Cup semi-final just a few months later. The Blues would love to have him back if he became available amid Sarries' relegation.

Nick Tompkins - Born in Sidcup and played for England U18s, U20s and Saxons. But those appearances didn't tie him to the land of his birth and now new Wales coach Wayne Pivac - a long-time admirer - has pounced. Aware of the centre's eligibility through a grandmother from Wrexham, he has named him in his Six Nations squad.

Sam Wainwright - After starting out at Rhyl RFC, he became a regular for RGC in the Premiership and was capped by Wales U20s in 2018. The 21-year-old tight-head made his Sarries debut against Wasps in September.

WASPS

Thomas Young - The Aberdare flanker has excelled under his father Dai at Wasps, having arrived via Gloucester after being released by Cardiff Blues. Unlucky to have won just three Wales caps. Out of contract at the end of this season, so has a big decision to make given the WRU's 60-cap selection policy.

Owain James - His parents hail from Penarth and his dad, John, coached him as a junior at London Welsh. The former Harrow School pupil, now 23, has been with Wasps since he was 12. Plays at wing and full-back.

Will Rowlands - The bolter in Pivac's Six Nations squad, Hammersmith-born second row Rowlands says he has a real affinity for Wales, who he qualifies for through his father Jeremy, who was born in Pontllanfraith.

WORCESTER

Ashley Beck - Won seven caps in the centre for Wales between 2012 and 2013. Moved from the Ospreys last summer, but had only made four appearances when a broken leg sustained in October ended his season. Has returned to action this term and has been going well.

Sam Lewis - The former Ospreys openside flanker moved to the Sixways Stadium in 2015 and has proved a real hit, with his tackling and turnover work. Has made 80 appearances for the Warriors, scoring 11 tries.

Luke Scully - An outside-half who has represented Wales U18s and is in the U20s squad for the forthcoming Six Nations. Joined the Worcester Senior Academy in 2018 having come through the Ospreys age group and studied at Neath Port Talbot College.

Callum Morris - Played at scrum-half for Wales U18s and was previously with the Dragons Academy. Studied at Lymm High School ahead of joining the Warriors Senior Academy.

YORKSHIRE CARNEGIE

Marc Thomas - Born in Merthyr Tydfil, he played 40 games on the loosehead for the Ospreys over four seasons before moving, first to Jersey, and then to Leeds.

George Watkins - Had a brief spell at Cardiff Blues before returning to Bristol where he was a prolific try-scorer on the wing. Another to arrive at Headingley via Jersey.

Trystan Lloyd - From Carmarthen, this back rower spent three years with Llanelli before moving to Leeds to go to university, gaining a chance to continue his rugby career with Yorkshire Carnegie.
 

bushytop

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But it's terribly unfair for Eddie to have a quick chat with LRZ
As you probably know, I wasn’t a fan of it... I wouldn’t be a fan of the WRU trying to tap up whoever is England’s hottest prospect either mind.
 

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I was thinking about this. I have no problem with players who are slightly older and are unlikely to play for their country moving over.

While 24/25 is still youngish, Tompkins probably has an idea now if he was likely to play for England or not. However what I don't like is the idea of other countries targeting younger players.

Take Pivac targeting English players as he's said. England shouldn't have to worry about capping young players just to protect them from another country persuading them to move. I'd update rules that if they play for the u20 side then they can't be capped by another country until they are 23/24.

This would help protect countries investment in players for a while to see if they develop well enough to be included in the senior squad.
 

bushytop

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I was thinking about this. I have no problem with players who are slightly older and are unlikely to play for their country moving over.

While 24/25 is still youngish, Tompkins probably has an idea now if he was likely to play for England or not. However what I don't like is the idea of other countries targeting younger players.

Take Pivac targeting English players as he's said. England shouldn't have to worry about capping young players just to protect them from another country persuading them to move. I'd update rules that if they play for the u20 side then they can't be capped by another country until they are 23/24.

This would help protect countries investment in players for a while to see if they develop well enough to be included in the senior squad.
Targeting younger players was pretty much my whole point with the LRZ thread.
 

Reiser99

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Targeting younger players was pretty much my whole point with the LRZ thread.
I haven't read all of that, but the issue also affects smaller nations. I don't think it's good for any young player from any country to be subject to that kind of attention.
 

bushytop

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I haven't read all of that, but the issue also affects smaller nations. I don't think it's good for any young player from any country to be subject to that kind of attention.
I agree... but (& there is no fairness in this... BUT) if your country is ‘tier two’ or below the allure of a team who can win competitions and chase a World Cup is ‘understandable’ (if not the ideal).

If however a tier one country targets a player from another tier one country (when the ONLY eligibility is possible ‘future’ residency) and both countries are interested... I personally think it’s out of order.
 

Reiser99

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I agree... but (& there is no fairness in this... BUT) if your country is ‘tier two’ or below the allure of a team who can win competitions and chase a World Cup is ‘understandable’ (if not the ideal).

If however a tier one country targets a player from another tier one country (when the ONLY eligibility is possible ‘future’ residency) and both countries are interested... I personally think it’s out of order.

For me my issue is countries having to be worried about capping young players who aren't ready to protect them from another country, especially if they've played u20 level. That's why I'd have a protection period for u20 players for 3-4 years once they hit 20, so that countries have time to see how they develop and then they still have time to swap if they want.

There is no perfect system and it is irritating seeing a player switch around 26/27 when they still have time to be picked, but no system is perfect.

What does seem to be developing is almost a capping war where countries look to cap young players early to tie them down and that's not acceptable for me.
 

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The LRZ thing has been blown out of all proportion
He'd never represented Wales at any level (and not sure if he'd even played for Gloucester yet) at the point he was asked about his eligibility for England as an academy player living and playing in England. It's not like we were in a tug of war to have him in our Six Nations squads this season - it was well before anyone had even heard of him.

That's massively different from actively targeting England age grade players in the way that Wales have.
I've heard of a few more players who turned down invitations to Wales training camps this season, who have played for England age grade, and the WRU are targeting academy players now, like Theo Bevacqua.
 

bushytop

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The LRZ thing has been blown out of all proportion
He'd never represented Wales at any level (and not sure if he'd even played for Gloucester yet) at the point he was asked about his eligibility for England as an academy player living and playing in England. It's not like we were in a tug of war to have him in our Six Nations squads this season - it was well before anyone had even heard of him.

That's massively different from actively targeting England age grade players in the way that Wales have.
I've heard of a few more players who turned down invitations to Wales training camps this season, who have played for England age grade, and the WRU are targeting academy players now, like Theo Bevacqua.
It’s just both a ‘topical’ and ‘prime’ example of the situation in question... two things that are paramount in forming a debate.
 
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