Planet Rugby

English rule stupid - Boudjellal

25th May 2014 10:40

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steffon armitage toulon v saracens heineken cup final

English star: Steffon Armitage

Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal has criticised England's mindset of not picking overseas-based players such as Steffon Armitage, calling it "stupid".

Boudjellal watched as his side claimed back-to-back Heineken Cup titles, with Armitage picking up the man of the match award on Saturday.

Yet the owner was at a loss to explain why his back-row is overlooked by the English selectors.

"It's good because it means he just plays for Toulon," Boudjellal told Sky Sports News.

"But after that for England and with a World Cup coming up, you have to say you should pick your best players.

"Just because Jonny Wilkinson or Steffon Armitage play in France, it doesn't mean they aren't English.

"The coach can do what he wants but it's a stupid rule, really stupid. It's misplaced protectionism and today you're punishing players who aren't always choosing to play abroad for monetary reasons.

"When a player leaves his own country he feels for it more in his heart because he doesn't see it every day, he misses it even more.

"After all that though, it's England's choice."

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