Rugby Union

Top 7: Rugby Union players who must move for England careers

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Being a one-club man earns you respect. Such players as the recently retired Mark Cueto and Ugo Monye have earned this tag.

But in the sport of professional rugby, it can help to be a bit self-centred and think about your own career prospects and goals.

Take George Ford for example. During his time at Leicester he spent most the time behind Toby Flood in the pecking order but with such a bright future for the young man who made his debut at the age of sixteen, this was not good enough.

A move to Bath has seen Ford become the number one fly half in England as a result of constant game time.

There are plenty of players in the Aviva Premiership who have the talent to pull on the white shirt, but what players should move club’s to have a better chance of being called up by Stuart Lancaster?

Mark Wilson

The Newcastle Falcons player of the year has had a brilliant season with consistent displays. Many called for him to be included in the Saxons squad to face the Irish Wolfhounds in January but the call never came.

From the words of Dean Richards himself, Wilson would have been selected if he played for a better club. It’s a shame for the Cumbrian powerhouse with displays of constant line break speed and powerful defence but for the back row to have a chance of being called up, moving clubs is a must.

Luke Wallace

The Harlequins back row has been in the Saxons squad for a few years now but has never played for the senior team in a capped game.

Wallace is a rare English player who is a genuine seven and is dangerous over the ball, however, when the player in front of you is the captain of your country it is difficult to get game time in your preferred position.

The young back row has played a lot on the blind side for his club but it would be unfortunate if his skills were not utilised regularly in the seven shirt, so a move to another club would certainly benefit Wallace.

Sam Dickinson

The Northampton man has enjoyed his time at the Premiership champions since making his move from championship side Rotherham Titans, but due to the form of the departing Samu Manoa and injuries to a large number of Northampton’s second row department, Dickinson has seen most of his time either on the bench or in the unfamiliar position of second row.

Thankfully for the powerhouse number eight, both Samu Manoa and Phil Dowson will be leaving the saints come the end of the season which should see him make the shirt his own even with the incoming Jamie Gibson from Leicester Tigers who has played number eight but usually plays either flank.

But in the case Dickinson continue to plays in the second row or starts on the bench, it would be vital for him to leave the Saints as his skill set would go to a massive waste if he was utilised on a regular basis.

Henry Thomas

The tight head prop recently signed for bath in a big to improve his international, however with the England second preferred in front of you in the pecking order this has not really worked out for him.

Thomas has been playing well for Bath when he hasn’t been injured with strong scrummaging, most noticeably his work in the loose has vastly improved since leaving Sale. A move for Thomas would surely enhance his international prospects

Mike Haywood

The Northampton hooker is one of the best in his position with brilliant throwing accuracy, strong scrummaging and athletic with ball in hand but with the England starting hooker in front of you in the pecking order at club level, a starting shirt is not always guaranteed.

A call from Lancaster will surely come at some point for the young hooker but a move to a new club will most certainly make this call come sooner.

Chris Pennell

The Worcester fullback has been the standout player for the Championship side for a good two years now earning himself an England call up even with Pennell playing in the championship.

With his brilliant counter attacking ability he is one of the most dangerous fullbacks in England, a move to a better club with Premiership status would surely mean more caps for the Worcester

Alex Waller

The Northampton loose head has performed well in the absence of Alex Corbisero during his regular injuries but when the England man is fit, he starts.

Waller was called up to the Saxons recently for his strong scrummaging and his commitments around the field, Waller has never really nailed down a starting place in the Northampton first team so a move elsewhere would benefit the young prop well.

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