New Zealand-born wing Denny Solomona has made himself available for England selection after completing the required three-year residency period.
The decision has raised eyebrows after the majority of those three years were spent as a rugby league player, during which time he represented Samoa – the country his grandparents are from.
But following his controversial cross-code switch to the Sharks, the 23-year-old has signed the relevant paperwork to put him in contention for a spot on the British and Irish Lions’ tour of New Zealand this summer.
However, he is more likely to get the call from Eddie Jones for England’s trip to Argentina in June given that he is yet to play rugby union on the international stage.
Solomona’s remarkable form since joining Sale has seen him rack up 11 tries in his first 11 appearances, including a hat-trick against Premiership leaders Wasps in a 34-28 home win last month.
The winger currently sits fourth in the domestic try-scoring leaderboards with nine, despite only having featured in eight Premiership games.
The news comes after calls to extend the residency ruling to five years, with 53 of 210 players at this year’s Six Nations being born outside of the country they represented.
If selected by Jones, Solomona will join current England internationals Marland Yarde (St. Lucia) and Nathan Hughes (Fiji) in qualifying by residency, while Ben Te’o, Teimana Harrison and captain Dylan Hartley were all born in New Zealand.