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The ‘Globetrotters’ XV: A Team Of Well-Travelled Rugby Players

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 24: Ma'a Nonu of the New Zealand All Blacks goes to ground after a tackle during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between New Zealand and Namibia at the Olympic Stadium on September 24, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Eddie Jones recently talked of English coaches needing to work abroad to gain experience in other environments, but what about players? Here are a team of the individuals who took rugby globetrotting to a new level.


1. Soane Tongaʻuiha

As is the case with Tonga’uiha on the rugby pitch, he cannot stand still. In his career so far he has played for Auckland, Bedford, Northampton, Racing Metro and Oyonnax, making a name for himself in provincial rugby in New Zealand before travelling to England and then France.

2. Trevor Leota

As well as being a Heineken Cup winner with Wasps despite a penchant for Big Macs, Samoa’s Leota has certainly clocked up his air miles. After spending many years at the former London club, Leota headed off to Super Rugby to play for the Cheetahs and ended his career in France with Mont-de-Marsan.

3. Julian White

Although best known for his days at Leicester Tigers, White made sure he packed in an awful lot of travelling before he settled down for a farmer’s life. Having played for the Canterbury Crusaders, Bridgend, Saracens and Bristol before finally establishing himself at Welford Road, White built up enough experiences to make him one of the most hardened props in all of the western world.

4. Chris Jack

If Chris is a Ray Charles fan then his favourite hit must surey be, ‘Hit the road, Jack’. Although he spent much of his career being part of a legendary Crusaders pack, Jack also managed to play for Tasman, Western Province, Saracens and the team most likely to be named after a Douglas Adams character: Kyuden Voltex.

5. Juandre Kruger

Now plying his trade with Racing 92, Krueger’s career has seen him play for both Western Province and the Blue Bulls before heading to Northampton Saints, back to the Blue Bulls and then over to France. His performances at Saints caught the eye of the Springbok selectors and he has gone on to collect 17 caps so far.

6. Pedrie Wannenburg

Wannenburg might well be the most impressive globetrotter of the lot. As well as spending nine years with the Blue Bulls, Pedrie has also made himself into an Ulster legend, spent two seasons at Castres and two seasons at Oyonnax, but also has now just started playing for Denver in the PRO Rugby tournament.

7. James Haskell

Perhaps the most ‘Marmite’ player in world rugby at the moment, Haskell has certainly done his fair share of travelling. After winning the Heineken Cup with Wasps, James set off to Stade Francais, Ricoh Black Rams and the Highlanders in the Super Rugby competition, before returning home once more.

HIGH WYCOMBE, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 12: James Haskell of Wasps catches the ball during the Aviva Premiership match between Wasps and Bath at Adams Park on October 12, 2014 in High Wycombe, England.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

8. Semo Sititi

Establishing himself with Marist St Joseph and Marist St Pats in Samoa, Sititi began playing for Wellington and the Hurricanes before setting off for sunny Cardiff, then the now defunct Borders, moving southwards to Newcastle and then crossing the border again to play for Borders once more. He ended his professional career at NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes in Japan.

9. Justin Marshall

After spending most of his career playing for the Crusaders, Marshall made the brave decision to sign for ambitious Leeds Tykes. He next moved on to the Ospreys, then Montpellier and finally Saracens where he ended his professional career. There aren’t many players who can say they’ve played in Super Rugby, the Celtic League, the English Premiership and the Top 14.

CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND - JUNE 25:  Justin Marshall of New Zealand is challenged by Jonny Wilkinson of the Lions during the 1st Test match between the New Zealand All Blacks and the British and Irish Lions at Jade Stadium June 25, 2005 in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

10. Frédéric Michalak

Even though Michalak was a stalwart at Toulouse, winning two Heineken Cups during his time, Freddie could not resist the temptation to test himself in Super Rugby and played 21 times for the Sharks. He is now part of Toulon’s all-conquering squad of ‘galacticos’ and has won even more titles with them.

11. JP Pietersen

Springbok ace Pietersen has enjoyed time in Japan as well as South Africa, having spent three seasons at Panasonic Wild Knights. He has signed for Leicester for the start of next season as well and will be hoping to have the same impact in European rugby as he has at international level.

12. Ma’a Nonu

Nonu has concluded his mightily impressive international career by signing off as arguably one of the All Blacks’ greatest players. Yet Nonu has managed to squeeze in a season at the Ricoh Black Rams in that time and of course is now a member of the Toulon squad.


13. Jean de Villiers

The former South African captain has certainly found it difficult to stay settled and has spent time with both Munster and Leicester as well as the Stormers. Jean will be leaving Welford Road at the end of this season, but has not yet announced any plays to retire. He may well seek a fresh challenge elsewhere before finally conceeding to Old Father Time.

14. Alesana Tuilagi

A ferocious physical specimen, Tuilagi has played for Italy’s Parma, England’s Leicester, and Japan’s NTT Shining Arcs. He is currently playing at Newcastle Falcons where he is joined by his brother Anitelea ‘Andy’ Tuilagi.

15. Percy Montgomery

‘Monty’ is a good example of a player using his time abroad to rejuvenate himself. His time at both Newport and the Dragons in Wales helped him to rediscover his best form and he was promptly re-selected for the Springboks. Additionally, he spent a season playing in France for now-relegated Perpignan.

Head Coach: Eddie Jones

England’s first ‘foreign-born’ coach has certainly enjoyed a good number of flights in his time. Having spent time working in Australia and Japan, Jones also enjoyed spells at Saracens and with the South African national team. Those experiences helped him to turn around a disillusioned England from World Cup flops to Grand Slam winners in the space of a few months.

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.