Eddie Jones keen on Blues star Hoskins Sotutu for England

FILE PHOTO - Rugby Union - Six Nations Championship - England v Wales - Twickenham Stadium, London, Britain - March 7, 2020 England head coach Eddie Jones during the warm up before the match REUTERS/Toby Melville

Eddie Jones is reported to be interested in seeing if rising Blues star Hoskins Sotutu wants to play for England.

Sotutu – son of former Blues and Fiji wing Waisake Sotutu – has an English mother, and is technically eligible to choose between three nations at test level.

The 21-year-old has set Super Rugby Aotearoa alight with his displays at No 8, with some observers likening him to a young Zinzan Brooke because of his range of running, kicking, passing and lineout skills.

The Daily Telegraph newspaper has reported that Jones, who coached England to the 2019 Rugby World Cup final, “is thought to be keen to establish if Sotutu holds any interest in playing for England while he remains uncapped’’.

”Whatever is next will come,” he said. “I’ve got my dad’s Fijian heritage and that Kiwi side and my mum is English as well so I can qualify for an English passport.

Sotutu was born in Auckland in 1998 and attended Sacred Heart College.

He represented the New Zealand under-20 team in 2018, the same year he represented Auckland for the first time.

Sotutu made his Blues debut in 2019, and has established himself this season with Blues head coach Leon MacDonald preferring him to Akira Ioane as his starting No 8.

England have had a number of New Zealand-qualified players in recent years, including Brad Shields, Willi Heinz, Hartley, Teimana Harrison and Ben Te’o.

Current Rugby Football Union rules require England players to play their domestic rugby in the country.

Sotutu would have to move to an English club to be eligible for international rugby.

England have capped two players direct from New Zealand in the past – Shields and English-born former Blues utility back Piers Francis, but both were already committed to contracts with English clubs.

 

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