Premiership salaries have been squeezed after the cap was reduced by £1.4m to £5m from the 2021-22 season and, although it is set to return to its former level from 2024-25, players are seeking better pay elsewhere.

Rugby Football Union rules do not allow players based abroad to be selected for England – but an exception was made for former Wasps and Worcester players after those clubs folded.

The intention of the rule – which was introduced in 2011 – is to protect the quality of the English league by ensuring the best English players play in it, and give the RFU more control and better access to England or potential England players.

Head coach Steve Borthwick urged a rethink of the policy so that he could have his pick of all those qualified to play for England and said discussions on the matter were « ongoing ».

With the help of former England internationals Ugo Monye and Danny Care, here is a look at some of the key issues around selecting overseas players as well as some possible solutions.

Why are more players going abroad?

As Care points out on the Rugby Union Daily podcast, many Premiership clubs are in « dire straits » financially.

Wasps followed Worcester into administration in October 2022 and they are not the only clubs struggling to bounce back after Covid-19.

Money flooded into English rugby union following a home World Cup in 2015, but the landscape is different now.

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