Nick Abendanon says England should pick overseas players
ESPN Staff
May 6, 2015
Nick Abendanon playing for Clermont
Nick Abendanon playing for Clermont© David Rogers/Getty Images

Nick Abendanon says England should allow players who play for overseas clubs to represent the national side.

The Clermont full-back, who was named European Player of the Year on Tuesday, said playing in a foreign league can improve English players and those with experience abroad would strengthen the national side.

But an RFU ruling which states that only players who play in English domestic rugby can feature for the national side means that Abendanon would be unable to be selected for England at the World Cup this year.

"Having that rule in place restricts players from playing at the top level," Abendanon told BBC 5 Live. "You're playing with the best players and coming here has made me a better player and better person.

"I know exactly why the RFU has that policy in place and I don't expect it to change - but I have changed my mind on it since moving out here."

Abendanon scored a wonderful try in Saturday's Champions Cup final defeat to Toulon, who fielded last year's European Player of the Year Steffon Armitage.

It was Armitage's excellent form in the last two seasons which has led to increased debate about the RFU ruling, but now Abendanon's success has heightened that pressure on the RFU.

The former Bath full-back was only selected for England twice when he played in the UK and moved to France in the belief that his international career had come to an end.

"I played for 10 years in England and came out to France because I thought my international career was over," he said. "I'm sure Steffon felt the same. Playing in France has rejuvenated our games and whether we get rewarded for that is up to Stuart [Lancaster, the England coach]."

© ESPN Staff

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.