Nick Tompkins is to be handed a shock Wales call-up – despite his Saracens boss not even knowing until recently that he is Welsh.
A midfield crisis in the Dragons’ set-up has resulted in new Wales head coach Wayne Pivac picking a player who has not only played for England’s second team, but also won a World Cup with their under-20s.
Tompkins, 24, actually qualifies for Wales through Wrexham-born gran Enid on his mum’s side of the family.
But he has still needed a loophole to be eligible, which is provided by the fact his England Saxons appearance against South Africa in 2016 was bizarrely not deemed to be a full ‘A’ international.
Saracens’ director of rugby Mark McCall revealed: “I think Nick is on Wales’s radar, though I didn’t know he was Welsh until a couple of months ago!
“But good for him because Nick’s played really well this season and Wales have got some issues in the centres at the moment. He might have an opportunity to play in this Six Nations which would be fantastic for him.”
Wales, who start the defence of their Six Nations crown at home to Italy on February 1, have injuries to World Cup centres Jonathan Davies and Owen Watkin, while Scott Williams is another doubt.
Tompkins put his hand up for selection with a 15-minute hat-trick of tries against Gloucester in Sarries’ Premiership semi-final win back in May
Only Cobus Reinach and Denny Solomona scored more tries in the top flight last season than the Sidcup-born centre.
Northampton yesterday announced that Reinach, their South African scrum-half, will leave Northampton this summer. He is set to join mega-rich French club Montpellier.
Wales squad for 2020 Six Nations
Forwards: Rhys Carre (Saracens), Rob Evans (Scarlets), Wyn Jones (Scarlets), Elliot Dee (Dragons), Ryan Elias (Scarlets), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Leon Brown (Dragons), WillGriff John (Sale), Dillon Lewis (Blues), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Adam Beard (Ospreys), Seb Davies (Blues), Alun Wyn Jones (capt; Ospreys), Will Rowlands (Wasps), Cory Hill (Dragons), Aaron Shingler (Scarlets), Aaron Wainwright (Dragons), Taulupe Faletau (Bath), Ross Moriarty (Dragons), Josh Navidi (Blues), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys).
Backs: Gareth Davies (Scarlets), Rhys Webb (Toulon), Tomos Williams (Blues), Dan Biggar (Northampton), Owen Williams (Gloucester), Jarrod Evans (Blues), Hadleigh Parkes (Scarlets), Nick Tompkins (Saracens), Owen Watkin (Ospreys), George North (Ospreys), Josh Adams (Blues), Owen Lane (Blues), Johnny McNicholl (Scarlets), Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester), Jonah Holmes (Leicester Tigers), Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets), Liam Williams (Saracens).