Wednesday, 22 June 2011

The "Foreign" Legion

Johnno has this week been defending the decision to select a "multi-national" England RWC training squad.

Thirteen of the 45 man squad were born outside these shores. Technically they all qualify to play for England, but here's an entirely subjective and non-scientific verdict on their eligibility:

Matt Stevens
Born in South Africa. Came to England as a student in 2002. English father.
TF Verdict: Still needs to work on the accent, but what's the problem?

Alex Corbisiero
Like Springsteen, born in the USA. Came to England as a child. English mother.
TF Verdict: What's the problem?

Dylan Hartley
Born in New Zealand. Came to England as a 16 year old. English mother.
TF Verdict: Again, apart from the accent, what's the problem?

Mouritz Botha
Born in South Africa. Came to England to join Bedford Athletic in 2006. Qualifies on residency.
TF Verdict: Decidedly Dodgy.

Simon Shaw
Born in Kenya. English parents. Has been playing for England, on and off, forever.
TF Verdict: What's the problem (other than the fact that he's 75)?

Hendrie Fourie
Born in South Africa. Came to England to join Rotherham in 2005. Qualifies on residency.
TF Verdict: Decidedly Dodgy.

Thomas Waldrom 
Born in New Zealand. Came to England in 2010 to join Leicester Tigers. Turns out he's conveniently discovered an English grandmother.
TF Verdict: Decidedly Dodgy.

Joe Simpson
Born in Australia. Came to England as a kid. English father
TF Verdict: What's the problem?

Riki Flutey
Born in New Zealand. Came to England in 2005 to join London Irish. Qualified on residency, was capped (despite initially saying he didn't want to play for England), then buggered off to France for the cash.
TF Verdict: Decidedly Dodgy (not to mention no form to speak of since 2009).

Shontayne Hape
Born in New Zealand. Came to England in 2002 to play Rugby League for Bradford Bulls. Qualifies on residency.
TF Verdict: Decidedly Dodgy (and isn't very good).

Matt Bananaramaman
Born in Jersey.
TF Verdict: What's the problem (other than a lack of any of the basic requisites to be an international centre)?

Delon Armitage
Born in Trinidad. Came to England as a child. English step-father.
TF Verdict: What's the problem (other than complete lack of recent form and an ego the size of a house)?

Manu Tuilagi
Born in Samoa. Came to England with his family as an 11 year old. Qualifies on residency and has played all his rugby through the English development system.
TF Verdict: No problem but VERY lucky to be in the squad given his recent disciplinary misdemeanours.

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