Competing for England

26 September 2015

Sometimes I blog about genealogy. On other occasions, I write about networking or events of ‘our day’ at FWL. Other blogs are more of the ‘random’ category…. (maybe I should add new blog categories for the future…. hmmm…..)…. Having just finished watching the World Cup Rugby Wales v England match, it’s all about sport today.

We lost. We played well, but we lost. By just three points. However, whilst I was watching the match, I was googling to find out more about our current international players, particularly those whose names stand out from the crowd (I’m not a genealogist for nothing) and those who look as if their ancestors didn’t originate from England. That’s OK – if you were born in England, you have every right to play for England….. that is what I guessed was the criteria, at least. I mentioned (to my fellow rugby viewers), in passing, that one of our players looked like he was Tongan. And, for once, I was right. In fact, not one but two of our England players…

Brothers Billy and Mako Vunipola are sons of the former Tongan captain, no less. So, it made me wonder: how are they eligible to play for England? Billy was born in Brisbane (Australia) and Mako was born in Wellington (New Zealand). Frankly, I was properly confused. Further googling, of course, gave the answer:


8.1: …. a Player may only play for the senior fifteen-aside National Representative Team, the next senior fifteen-a-side National Representative Team and the senior National Representative Sevens Team of the Union of the country in which: (a) he was born; or (b) one parent or grandparent was born; or (c) he has completed thirty six consecutive months of Residence immediately preceding the time of playing.

Google is a font full of useful information, don’t you know! But I do wonder, are these regulations the same across all sports? I am a gigantic athletics fan (as regular readers will know). However, we do have some GB Athletes who appear to have slightly American accents. Makes me wonder their reasoning for competing for GB…. Hmm…..

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