Corry a fan of foreign based players

England will have to accept the inclusion of foreign-born players if they are to become world beaters according to former captain Martin Corry.

Martin Johnson has named three players who were not born in England in his starting XV for his first match as manager against the Pacific Islanders on Saturday.

Matt Stevens was born in South Africa, Delon Armitage in the West Indies and both Riki Flutey and Dylan Hartley, who is on the bench, hail from New Zealand.

But Leicester Tigers forward Corry insists he has no problems with the inclusion of such players in the side as long as it helps the team.

“I think it’s a case of needs must,” Corry said.

“In a perfect world I would say I’m not happy with it but it’s got to the stage where you think you have to do it. Your hand is forced.

“We have to do it if the overriding ambition for England is to be the best team in the world and win the World Cup.

“You’re at the stage where you have to do it in order to compete at the highest level. “We can’t moan about it and look for the rights and wrongs of it.”

Johnson’s decision to call up Flutey marks another twist in the career of the Wasps inside centre.

Born in Petone, New Zealand, Flutey represented his country of birth at both Under-19 and Under-21 level before moving to England three years ago.

The 28-year-old has also played for the New Zealand Maori team, but insisted yesterday that would not stop him from belting out the national anthem at Twickenham.

Corry points to South-Africa born Mike Catt as evidence that foreign-born players can still have the passion to wear the Red Rose with pride.

“Mike was always a very proud and passionate player for England,” Corry said at the launch of the Haynes Rugby Union manual.

“I don’t know how it will affect the passion of these guys. In an ideal world you would love to see 22 guys belting out God Save the Queen when you tune in on Saturday.

“The anthem was a great inspiration for me but if the players go out there motivated, then to a certain extent it doesn’t matter.”

Under current rules players become eligible to play for their adopted country after living there for three years or if they have a grandparent born in that country.

Flutey, Hartley and Armitage qualified through the residency route while Stevens first qualified through his English father.

Corry admits he has concerns about the rules and believes the lines of eligibility are becoming more and more blurred.

“The grey area in terms of eligibility is getting bigger and bigger, that’s why there is such a lot of debate when a side like this is announced,” said Corry.

“But if the player is eligible and he is the best then he has to be picked whether it is morally right or wrong.”