We take a look at a team of players set to take part in the Six Nations who were born outside of Europe but qualify on various grounds…
The England and Lions prop was born in Wellington, New Zealand before moving to Wales and finally settling in England with his family. Barring a series of injuries he has now become a regular in the England set-up.
Hartley is another England front rower who was born in New Zealand before moving to England. Unlike Vunipola though, Hartley only moved to England when he was 16 and represents England thanks to his mother’s ancestry.
3.Rodney Ah You
Although Ah You isn’t quite a staple in the Ireland side yet, the New Zealand born prop is becoming an increasingly regular feature for Joe Schmidt and provides regular cover off the bench.
South African born Diack is usually found in the back row, however he is capable of covering the second row as well. He moved to Ulster in the 2008/09 season and qualified for Ireland on residency grounds.
Vosawai is another player more often found in the back row, however for the purposes of this side we have moved the Fijian born Italian lock into the second row after he qualified for Italy on residency grounds.
Blake has been one of the biggest debating points of the 2015 Six Nations so far as the New Zealand born flanker was called up into the Scotland squad despite not having even featured in Edinburgh’s first team since his move.
Cowan is a New Zealand born flanker who qualifies for Scotland through his mother. Despite never having actually lived in Scotland Cowan’s heritage makes him available for Scottish selection.
Italy’s talismanic captain Sergio Parisse was actually born in Argentina, however having moved to Italy to begin his professional career and having an Italian father means Parisse qualifies on a number of grounds.
South African born Kockott has been a recent addition to the French squad after his performances in the Top 14 resulted in a number of calls for him to play for Les Bleus once he qualified through his residency.
Anscombe has been in Cardiff a matter of months, however thanks to his grandmother being Welsh he has received a near immediate call up to the Welsh national side for the 2015 Six Nations.
McLean was born in Australia, however having Italian grandparents he moved to Italy in 2007 in a bid to be called up to the national side which he duly received just months later and has been a regular ever since.
South African born centre Barritt has 22 senior caps for England after qualifying for selection through his parents despite having played age grade rugby for South Africa for several years prior.
The New Zealand born stand-off is able to play at fly half, centre of full back and now looks set to be a regular feature in the Italian national side as they head into the Six Nations and World Cup in 2015.
Maitland is another New Zealand national who moved over to Scotland after failing to make the All Blacks side in a bid to enter the reckoning for Scottish selection thanks to his Scottish grandparents.
Much like Kockott, Spedding is a South African born Frenchman who qualifies for Les Bleus on residency rules. It’s hard to argue against his inclusion given his emotional reaction to being called up late last year.
Do you think more should be done to tighten the international selection criteria?