Josh Hodgson has lashed Australian-born blow-ins attempting to switch rugby league allegiances to England, calling on coach Wayne Bennett to draw a line in the sand.
The Canberra and England hooker has joined Test teammate George Burgess in speaking out against moves by new national coach Bennett to poach the likes of Brett and Josh Morris and Trent Hodkinson.
A host of Australian players including the Morris twins, Hodkinson and Manly prop Darcy Lussick have been approached about switching allegiances to England ahead of the Four Nations Test series in October.
While none have confirmed their intentions to swap nations, Josh Morris this week fuelled rumours he was about to make the jump when he refused to answer questions on the subject.
The Morris brothers have both represented NSW and Australia and Hodkinson played six games for the Blues. However, all qualify for England under eligibility rules because they have either English parents or grandparents.
Hodgson said he wouldn’t like to see anyone don the red and white jumper unless they were fully committed and anyone attempting a switch because they couldn’t get a call up for another country should be turned away.
“I’ve had a fair think about this `cause I’ve got a son and he’s born in Australia and he may never go to England to live there the rest of his life,” Hodgson said.
“But if he grew up and said he wanted to represent England, and he was proud to be English because his mum and dad are English, then I don’t see what the issue would be.
“But in terms of someone who hasn’t got much English background and they’re doing it because they can’t make another squad, I just won’t be a fan of that.”