Hughes chose England for financial reasons

Date published: November 15 2016

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England back-row Nathan Hughes has revealed that financial reward was the primary reason he decided to play for his adoptive country.

Hughes, who is Fijian by birth, made his debut in England's 37-21 victory over South Africa at Twickenham at the weekend. He qualified to play for the Six Nations champions in June on residency grounds.

With England players earning £22,000 per game, the 25-year-old admits it wasn a difficult decision to make in the end.

"I would love for Fiji to have more resources, but it is the way it is," he said.

"They just have to deal with it and live on whatever they have got. There is a big difference and that is why people want to play rugby and how they survive. It is their bread and butter.

"That's the decision I made – I play my rugby to support my family and put shelter over their heads. Back home it has all been positive comments, everyone happy and proud of the decision I have made. Last week was exciting for me and my family."

The Wasps number eight said running on as a replacement to make Test debut against the Springboks was a special moment in his career.

"I feel English now," added Hughes.

"I can say I'm an English person now. It was exciting to get the nod to come off the bench and represent England, I can say it's my country now. It was huge and it was emotional. I live here in England, it is where my family is now.

"This is home for me. I will not sing both anthems, I'll only be singing the national anthem, God Save the Queen. It has been a long time coming but now the time is here, I've got my first cap and I'm excited to get more."

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