England’s depth of players has never been in doubt. The population, the love of rugby and the funding pumped in outweighs other rugby-playing countries.
Following many Under-20 World Cup wins, England claim to have the best youth system in the world, which it may be, but with help from abroad. However, as we know in international rugby, not everyone is as they seem. Although players may play for one country, their birthplace is a whole different thing.
In the 2015 Rugby World Cup, Samoa had 13 New Zealanders in their side while tier one nations like Wales even had eleven foreign-born players. This highlights the diversity that’s in rugby right now.
England in fact have many foreign-born players; they’ve got players from five different continents available for selection. As great as the England youth system is, lots of these players grew up playing rugby elsewhere.
With all that said, here is an England XV made up of players born abroad:
1. Mako Vunipola – born in Wellington, New Zealand
2. Dylan Hartley – born in Rotorua, New Zealand
3. Paul Hill – born in Aschaffenburg, Germany
4. Mike Williams – born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
5. Nathan Hughes – born in Lautoka, Fiji
6. Jack Clifford – born in Brisbane, Australia
7. Teimana Harrison – born Opotiki, New Zealand
8. Billy Vunipola – born in Sydney, Australia
9. Joe Simpson – born in Sydney, Australia
10. Gareth Steenson (qualifies through residency) – born in Dungannon, Northern Ireland
11. Semesa Rokoduguni – born in Nausori, Fiji
12. Ben Te’o – born in Auckland, New Zealand
13. Manu Tuilagi – born in Fogapoa, Savai’i, Samoa
14. Marland Yarde – born in Castries, Saint Lucia
15. Charlie Sharples – born in Hong Kong
Patrick Perry, Pundit Arena