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England rugby chief responds after Clive Woodward called for 'archaic' rule to be banned


“The policy of only selecting players based in England stays as it is,” Sweeney said at a legacy event ahead of the 2025 Women’s World Cup. “If you look at the number of players going abroad, it doesn’t really impact our core group of England players quite so much. There’s maybe one or two we’d rather have over here. From our perspective, we’re OK with it. The way things currently stand, we’re sticking to that overseas rule.

“If you actually look at the players we’ve got abroad, they probably made a decision in terms of thinking about where their England careers are at and if they’re in contention for those hybrid contracts. If they’ve come to the conclusion they’re not – and most of them have had conversations with Steve (Borthwick) anyway – it (moving to France) is partly a lifestyle choice as much as anything else.

“Some of the players that have gone haven’t gone for more money. We think there’s a performance advantage to having those (England) players based in your own country. The ones who have gone have gone for reasons frankly most of us know anyway. We wish them all the best.”

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