We take a look at a team of players unlikely to make this years World Cup as a result of international selection rules set out by their home nations…

15.Nick Abendanon

The former England full back has been in scintillating form for Top 14 giants Clermont this season after a move from Bath over the summer.

14.Digby Ioane

Ioane’s departure was a huge blow to the Wallabies when he agreed a move to France, and they are still struggling in the wing department.

13.Drew Mitchell

Another Wallaby whose loss has been keenly felt, Mitchell has been in fine form for Toulon since his move last season.

12.Matt Giteau

Giteau is probably the biggest loss from a rugby perspective at this years World Cup given just how good he has been for Toulon in recent years.

11.Delon Armitage

Armitage may not be the most popular player in Europe, however there’s no doubting his talent is thriving on the French south coast.


10.Toby Flood

England seem to have an abundance of fly halves right now, however there’s no doubting that Flood would have been in with a chance of World Cup selection.

9.David Mele

Mele is one of very few Frenchmen currently playing abroad, but he is still an important player for Leicester Tigers.

8.Steffon Armitage

There have been a number of calls for Armitage to be called up to the England squad for the World Cup such has been his form.

7.George Smith

The Wallabies flanker was a key man for his national side for many years, but is now winding down his career in France.

6.Ben Mowen

Mowen has been a fantastic signing for Top 14 side Montpellier, and a big loss to the Wallabies given his form before his departure.


5.Mouritz Botha

The former England lock is now playing out in South Africa after leaving Saracens mid-way through the 2014-15 season.

4.Ali Williams

The former All Black is due to retire at the end of the season, however he would not have been eligible anyway now he plays for Toulon.

3.Carl Hayman

Another former All Black who would still have plenty to off Steve Hansen’s side if they opted to play him despite his contract with Toulon.

2.Aled de Malmanche

Possibly one of the lesser known players in this side, despite this de Malmanche still managed to claim five caps for the All Blacks before his mover to France in 2011.

1.Matt Stevens

Stevens is another former England and Saracens man who has opted to return to his country of birth South Africa this season.