England are ready to fast-track another rugby league convert into their squad this summer after being advised that he can make a bigger impact in union than his former team-mate in Australia, Sam Burgess.
Ben Te’o is joining Worcester from Irish province Leinster at the end of this season, as a means of furthering his ambition to wear the Red Rose at Test level.
It is understood that the 29-year-old, who was born in Auckland, New Zealand and represented Fiji and Queensland in the 13-man code, has been in regular contact with Eddie Jones, the national coach — expressing his determination to earn a prompt call-up.
Trusted contacts in league have told the England coaches that Te’o has the potential to be an explosive asset in midfield, as a player with a similar gainline-busting, off-loading repertoire to Manu Tuilagi and Burgess, who he played alongside when the South Sydney Rabbitohs won the NRL title in 2014.
Sportsmail has learned that he is seen as a viable candidate for the 2019 World Cup and the plan is to integrate him into the Test set-up at the earliest opportunity.
Teo’s mother was born and raised in England, which means that he does not have to qualify on residency. However, he was not considered for a call-up in the immediate aftermath of switching to union, as his decision to sign for Leinster meant he could not be picked due to the RFU’s stance against selecting players based abroad. He also broke his arm on his first appearance for the Dublin side.
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