Warren Gatland, the Wales Rugby Team boss has admitted that he called up George North and Alex Cuthbert to the national team in order to prevent them from being called up to the England national team by Stuart Lancaster.
Both the aforementioned players were born in England, with North hailing from the King’s Lynn region of England while Cuthbert comes from Gloucester. But both the players were brought through the Welsh regional system and could still have played at the top level with England had boss Stuart Lancaster acted quickly enough to blood them into the team as he did with Ben Morgan.
And Gatland has now admitted that he fast tracked the progress of the two wingers to the Wales Rugby Team as quickly as possible to prevent the two British and Irish Lions from ending up representing England.
According to Gatland, he picked the two players because firstly they are big and powerful athletes and secondly, because they are qualified to play for England. He went on to add that he had to take a risk on these players and he could have afforded to sit back in his chair and wait for a year and then see Stuart Lancaster swoop for the players and take them for England from under his nose.
North currently plays for the Northampton Saints in the Aviva Premiership and with the future of English clubs in the Heineken Cup still up in smoke; it is possible that the player would be without European action in the new season.
England will play the Wales Rugby Team in the pool stages of the 2015 Rugby World Cup and Gatland thinks if the English sides do not play in Europe, then it is going to be a huge advantage for the other teams against them.