We take a look at five international stars, including two World Cup-winning captains, who were eligible to represent other countries in Test rugby.
1. Dan Carter (alternative country: Ireland)
The legendary flyhalf revealed in his book that, if things were different, he may well have played for Ireland rather than New Zealand, the country of his birth — Carter qualified for the Emerald Isle due to undisclosed Irish blood on his father’s side.
2. Richie McCaw (alternative country: Scotland)
Research undertaken by Scotland’s tourism agency and Glasgow’s Mitchell Library found McCaw had links to Ayrshire, in southwestern Scotland, through his great-great-great grandfather, Alexander McCaw.
3. Michael Hooper (alternative country: England)
Hooper was eligible for England selection through his father, who was born and raised in Kent. Considered one of the world’s best flankers, the Wallabies captain has amassed 108 Test caps and is still only 29 years old.
4. Martin Johnson (alternative country: New Zealand)
In 1989 Johnson was approached by All Blacks legend Colin Meads to try out for the King Country side in New Zealand. In 1990 he was selected for the New Zealand U21 side that went on a tour of Australia and played against another of the all-time great lock forwards, John Eales. Johnson eventually returned to England and led the team to World Cup glory in 2003.
5. James Haskell (alternative country: Wales)
The England forward has recently opened up about his Welsh heritage, saying: “I’m actually half Welsh, and I’m fully Welsh qualified, so I could have quite happily played for Wales.”
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