English Forward Set To Declare For France
Eddie Jones had his chance.
Lyon back-row Carl Fearns has made himself available for the French national side at the end of the current season. The former Bath player was recently nominated for Top 14 player of the year, and becomes eligible for France at the end of the season.
The powerful forward was all set to join Gloucester this season and fight for an England spot, but pulled out of the deal after Eddie Jones said he ‘would not last 15 minutes’ in international rugby.
“If I’m wanted by the French national team, I would do it – 100 per cent.” Fearns said.
“I want to play international rugby. I feel like when I play against international players, I am at their standard, so I want to test myself at that level.”
“I qualify for France at the end of this season, so we will see what happens there. It’s something I would seriously think about. I will have just turned 29 by then, so if it’s possible, I will look at it.”
The only problem that faces Fearns is that FFR president Bernard Laporte has previously stated they would no longer pick non-French citizens for the national side. Whether or not they make an exception for the back-row, remains to be seen.