The inclusion of Australian-born half-back Blake Austin in the England Elite Performance Squad has sparked controversy on social media.
The 28-year-old was born and raised in Australia but qualifies to play for England and Great Britain by virtue of his parental grandmother.
Austin – who has scored 19 tries in 24 games for Warrington in 2019 – represented Portugal three times earlier in his teenage years.
He is the only new player in the England Elite Performance Squad. Austin is set to become the fifth overseas-born player to represent England following Rangi Chase, Maurie Fa’asavalu, Chris McQueen and Chris Heighington’s switches of allegiance.
We asked our followers ‘Were England right to select Blake Austin?‘ and here are some of the replies:
No,1he isn't as good as you think 2 takes away chances from other British half backs and 3 any wire player is not good for England
— mel griffiths (@melgriffiths1) July 18, 2019
Nobody asked this question when Shontayne Hapi & Lesley Vainokolo were selected for England RU ??
— IrishEye (@IrishEye9) July 16, 2019
Henry Paul, David Solomona and the Aussies RL put loads in their team so we need to play by the same rules.👍
— RL Code Global🗽🌎 (@ClaretnG) July 16, 2019
NO !! Think of the young English lads who have plyed there way upto the standard and loose out not good
— simon hayes (@simonhayes67) July 16, 2019
Should be English players n English coach
— gabs molloty ESGhull (@ESGhull) July 16, 2019
No. He's already represented Portugal plus he's taking a spot of a real Englishman
— Chris price (@Pricey11Chris) July 16, 2019
I respect Blake Austin. Hes a good player. But No. It didn't work with Rangi and we should be giving one of our kids the experience.
— Rob (@robbiehamstring) July 16, 2019
No. He's an Aussie.
— Jules (@Jules32252415) July 16, 2019
We can’t really complain about the Aussies picking Islanders if we are going to go down the same route.
— Saint.I.Am (@Thrombo69) July 17, 2019
No it's potentially holding back proper British talent from showcasing themselves at a higher level
— Jonathan Lamb (@Lambo25111555) July 17, 2019