Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global
NZ NZ

The capped England XV potentially playing in the Top 14 next season

By Josh Raisey
Henry Arundell of England celebrates scoring his team's first try with teammate Owen Farrell during the Rugby World Cup France 2023 match between England and Chile at Stade Pierre Mauroy on September 23, 2023 in Lille, France. (Photo by David Ramos - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)

The inexorable trickle of England internationals making the move to the Top 14 from the Gallagher Premiership continued on Monday as Racing 92 confirmed the signing of Saracens’ Owen Farrell.

ADVERTISEMENT

The former England captain is set to join the Parisian club at the end of the season, becoming the biggest cross-Channel signing since Jonny Wilkinson joined Toulon in 2009.

Already five players from England’s World Cup squad have committed to Top 14 clubs next season, and it looks as though that list could grow by the end of the season. Alongside a number of England internationals already based in the Top 14, an impressive team could potentially be made of English expats next season. Here’s how it could look:

Video Spacer

Henry Arundell talks England future when playing in France | RPTV

The 21-year-old Racing 92 flyer told The Big Jim Show what his reasons for playing in France are and what the future holds now that he is ineligible for England due to playing outside of the country.

Full interview

Video Spacer

Henry Arundell talks England future when playing in France | RPTV

The 21-year-old Racing 92 flyer told The Big Jim Show what his reasons for playing in France are and what the future holds now that he is ineligible for England due to playing outside of the country.

Full interview

1. Harry Williams (Montpellier)
The former Exeter Chiefs prop earned the last of his 19 England caps in 2021, two years before securing a move to the Top 14 last summer. Not technically a loosehead, but the French league seems to have a predilection for English tightheads.

2. Jack Singleton (Toulon)
Gloucester’s three-cap hooker is only on loan at Toulon until the end of the season, so he may well be back in the Premiership next season.

3. Kyle Sinckler (reported)
The England, and British & Lions tighthead has been linked with a move to Toulon at the end of the season, and his recent omission from Steve Borthwick’s England squad for the Guinness Six Nations may push him even closer to a move to the Cote d’Azur. If the move does not come to fruition for the 30-year-old, fellow tighthead Kieran Brookes is already playing in France, and is set to join Perpignan next season from Toulon.

4. Courtney Lawes (reported)
The England legend has been linked with a couple of clubs in France’s Pro D2, and with one of his main suitors, Provence Rugby, sitting second in the league, he could well be playing in the Top 14 next season if they are promoted.

ADVERTISEMENT

5. David Ribbans (Toulon)
A member of England’s recent World Cup squad, the former Northampton Saints lock joined Toulon at the end of the tournament, and has already captained his new side this season.

6. Lewis Ludlam (Toulon)
In a similar position to Sinckler after missing out on Six Nations selection, the Northampton skipper has also been heavily linked with a move to Toulon. However, nothing has been confirmed by either club yet, and Ludlam distanced himself from those reports recently.

Related

7. Jack Willis (Toulouse)
One of the biggest English stars currently in the Top 14, Willis joined French giants Toulouse after Wasps’ demise in 2022, and though he was originally allowed to play for England under ‘special circumstances’, he suspended his international career when he signed a new deal. The 14-cap flanker showcased what England are missing against Bath recently in the Investec Champions Cup with a devastating performance.

8. Sam Simmonds (Montpellier)
After years of being selected and discarded by England, the 2020 EPCR player of the year made the move from Exeter to Montpellier in the summer. The No8 took the place to Zach Mercer, who joined Gloucester and has since found himself in a very similar position to the one Simmonds was in by being overlooked by England.

ADVERTISEMENT

9. Dan Robson (Pau)
After being left unemployed by Wasps suddenly going bust, the 14-cap scrum-half was swiftly picked up by Pau and has stayed there ever since.

10. Owen Farrell (Racing 92)
The man of the moment will officially become a Racing 92 player from July 1.

11. Christian Wade (Racing 92)
One of the most prolific wingers in Premiership history made the same career move as Louis Rees-Zammit in 2018 by joining the NFL’s International Player Pathway, but returned to rugby in 2022, joining Racing 92, where the one-cap Englishman remains.

Related

12. Joe Marchant (Stade Francais)
Another member of England’s World Cup squad that remained in France after the World Cup, the 26-cap centre is contracted with Stade Francais until 2026.

13. Jonathan Joseph (Biarritz)
This one is a push, as it is unlikely that Joseph’s current Pro D2 club Biarritz are going to be in the Top 14 next season as they currently sit in 14th place. But the 54-cap international will nevertheless be playing in France next season.

14. Jack Nowell (La Rochelle)
A Champions Cup and Premiership winner during his eleven years with Exeter, Nowell joined the reigning European champions La Rochelle over the summer.

15. Henry Arundell (Racing 92)
Of all the English players in the Top 14, Arundell may be the one that England fans would want in the Premiership the most. The 21-year-old is set to play alongside Farrell at Racing 92 until 2026, but he has a bright future with England when he returns.

Related

ADVERTISEMENT

Join free

LIVE

{{item.title}}

Trending on RugbyPass

Comments

2 Comments
T
Tom 175 days ago

That's actually a respectable looking international team.

B
Brian 176 days ago

Given the shambolic state of English rugby and the excellence of the Top14, I think that more will follow.

Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free
ADVERTISEMENT

Latest Features

Comments on RugbyPass

TRENDING
TRENDING Ireland coach Andy Farrell: 'I’m jealous of that' Ireland coach Andy Farrell: 'I’m jealous of that'
Search