U20’s Star Turns Down Wales For England Despite Having No English Qualifications

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The Swansea-born and raised 19-year-old will line up at outside half for England U20s against Italy tomorrow – even though he has no English qualifications

WRU chiefs have revealed they have made concerted efforts to persuade Welsh wonderkid Mat Protheroe to play for the land of his birth at age-grade level – but he has opted to represent England.

The Swansea-born and raised 19-year-old will line up at outside half for England U20s against Italy tomorrow – even though he has no English qualifications.

He has no family links and has not completed a three-year residency.

But there are no eligibility rules which have to be complied with for the U20s Six Nations.

So the richly-gifted Protheroe, who is on the books at Gloucester, is free to take up an offer from the RFU to play for the age-grade team.

He has already represented England at U18s level, having attended Hartpury College in Gloucestershire.

Now it has emerged he has rejected advances from Wales.

WRU national performance manager Gethin Watts said: “I spoke to him personally in late 2014 about being involved in the Wales U18s programme.

“I discussed it at length with him. He came back and he categorically said to me that he was going to follow the English pathway.”

Read more on Wales Online.

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