Is It Just Me?
Posted by: Since 1888 (IP Logged)
Date: 17 October, 2018 11:24

Who gets overly frustrated when I read about young English players such as Jonah Holmes of Tigers and Sam Skinner of Exeter getting into Wales and Scotland squads.

Now donít get me wrong this isnít about those countries making the most of the rulebook or those players being recognised at the highest level, well done to them but those clubs who have brought them through (Tigers can thank Wasps and Leeds for Holmes) who will now, if they get a cap, be counted as non EQ so wonít go against the 17 or whatever the number is average needed to get the RFU Payment.

In the case of Holmes especially it will likely harm their future employment opportunities by not being EQ as he will need to look for a contract in Wales to continue to be in the hunt for caps from his adopted nation. Skinner at Ex May have another young EQ player preferred to him if push comes to shove and his earning potential could be hit when looking elsewhere for a contract or potentially accept a lower offer from his club.

Unfortunately, I was miles away from having the very tough decision of whether to accept a Wales call up due to my Welsh Nan but I really do think my very polite reply would be ďIím 100% English but thanks for the offerĒ maybe the lure would be too much in that actual position though!

Interested in hearing others views.....Is it just me?

Re: Is It Just Me?
Posted by: AlexInSouthville (IP Logged)
Date: 17 October, 2018 12:33

Worth considering the match fees at international level too...England are said to pay around 20k a game, and i imagine that Wales and Scotland are unlikely to be much less than £5-£10k a game, if not more...in a year where there are probably 15 or more internationals coming up.

The days of paying purely for the love of the shirt are gone. I am a proud Welshman, who would never have opted to play for England in the amateur days. However, if playing rugby was the way I put food on the table for my kids, and secured my financial future, I would definitely look at it from the financial angle.

Re: Is It Just Me?
Posted by: Rich. (IP Logged)
Date: 17 October, 2018 13:14

It's an interesting one and the rules around which nation(s) you can play for have been discussed here a number of times - but your point about the impact on the EQ numbers of a team who has (latterly) brought the player on is new to this debate I think. I'm sure the clubs are less than pleased whatever they will say in public - not just re the money but the fact they look like they will have one less player available for so many weeks a year (and the chances of being injured with the international squads seems a lot higher as well).

Of course Holmes (who has looked amazing in highlights programme) does not have to accept the invitation from Wales if he doesn't want to (if, for example, as you say he may be worried about the impact on employment opportunities) and he will only have to move to a Welsh club in order to be picked for Wales once his current Tigers contract has ended (however long that is). He will also remain an EQ player until such time as he actually gets a full cap for Wales.

Re: Is It Just Me?
Posted by: Poking With Sticks (IP Logged)
Date: 17 October, 2018 13:34

As an Exe fan there was a tinge of annoyance when I read Skinner got the call, same as when Tom Francis was called up to Wales for exactly the reason stated - he's no longer counted as EQP.

But Sam's 23/24, sitting behind the likes of Itoje, Lawes, Launchbury, Isiekwe, Hill, Ewells, Attwood. Careers are short and he has to make the most of it. He could be a great player his whole career and get few or no England caps. I can't begrudge him that opportunity.

Re: Is It Just Me?
Posted by: Exiled Falcon (IP Logged)
Date: 17 October, 2018 18:58

As Iíve said on our board international rugby is a bit of a sham now due to woolly qualification rules. In the case if Skinner, heís only 23 so it canít be that long since he played for England under 20s. Maybe there should be a cooling off period as itís a bit of a mockery switching countries so soon after representing another.

That said, it is a precarious career and who can blame players for taking the opportunities offered to them. However the end result is international rugby is nothing more than glorified club rugby.

Re: Is It Just Me?
Posted by: Cunning Stunts (IP Logged)
Date: 18 October, 2018 06:09

Imagine how the Fijians, Samoans and Tongans feel.

Re: Is It Just Me?
Posted by: Pub Singer (IP Logged)
Date: 18 October, 2018 09:41

The player doesnít have to accept an international call up so thereís no need to worry about the player. The club is likely to benefit by having an improved player as a result of international experience albeit theyíll be available for fewer matches. Then itís up to the club and the player if they want to renew the playerís contract. I donít blame the player at all for wanting to become a better player and maybe play in the Six Nations and World Cup when they otherwise wouldnít have that opportunity.

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