By Sky Sports Rugby Union
Last Updated: 03/07/20 6:21pm
With news emerging this week that Blues and Super Rugby sensation Hoskins Sotutu qualifies to potentially play for England on the Test stage, Will Greenwood has told Sky Sports: “Why wouldn’t England talk to him?”
The 21-year-old No 8 has taken Super Rugby Aotearoa in New Zealand by storm with a string of highly impressive displays, so much so that several international coaches and nations are reportedly keen on making contact with him.
Sotutu, son of former Auckland, Blues and Fiji player Waisake Sotutu, qualifies to play for Fiji through his father, and for England through his mother.
While having been born and grown up in New Zealand, Sotutu also qualifies for the All Blacks.
Eddie Jones and England are said to be interested – with the England head coach having negotiated deals to bring Brad Shields and Piers Francis from Super Rugby to England and into the Test fold before now.
“Hugely athletic and a very bright player, and that’s what Hoskins Sotutu brings,” Greenwood told Sky Sports on Friday.
“He’s a very clever player at the back of the scrum. He’s got that ability to power over but at the same stage see opportunities for others.
“I think he’s probably leading the charts in terms of metres made and offloads.
“It is what it is – he’s got an English mother, so he can play for England.
“If you watch him on the TV and you’re going: Billy Vunipola is awesome but slightly injury-prone, we hope he’s absolutely fine and has no more injuries, but that’s unlikely to happen.
“We’ve seen Tom Curry transition to the No 8 slot, and there are other No 8s in the English game, but if you’ve got someone who is qualified for England and is playing that well, then why wouldn’t you open up a discussion with his family, parents, agents, to understand where his mind is at?”
Last week, Sotutu told the New Zealand Herald: ‘I’ve got my dad’s Fijian heritage and that Kiwi side and my mum is English as well so I can qualify for an English passport. When the decision comes it will come easy but for the moment I’m just focusing on the Blues.’
Greenwood is none the wiser as to who Sotutu may go with, but does not rule out that a career with England is a more than viable option.
“I think Hoskins [Sotutu] has come out himself and said when the time comes to make a decision, it will be pretty easy to do,” he said.
“I can’t read between the lines there, whether it means he’s born and bred in New Zealand and therefore would want to be an All Black or the fact that it would be easy because if I play for England I’d get £30,000 a game.
“And we’ve got to get away from thinking it’s dirty talking about money for sportsmen.
“You don’t have a career that starts at 18 where you build up to where you’re 50 and become an Executive Chairman.
“It’s not how professional sport works.
“It has to be considered, and I think it’s unfair to say to players they are being disloyal to what’s happened before this when making choices.
“You just don’t know what’s going to happen in a week’s time, a month’s time and you have to do what’s right for you.
“And if that’s right for Hoskins, then that’s right for Hoskins – end of argument.”
To hear more from Will Greenwood and his thoughts on Manu Tuilagi leaving Leicester Tigers and on Beauden Barrett departing New Zealand for Japan, click play on the video above.