Nathan Hughes has admitted money was a motivation behind his decision to play rugby union for England rather than Fiji, the country of his birth. The 25-year-old forward is set to make his full international debut against Fiji at Twickenham on Saturday (19 November), having come off the bench in the win over South Africa last weekend.
Hughes will earn a minimum of £22,000 to play for England, compared to £60 a day for the tourists. Despite being born in Fiji, Hughes qualifies to play for the Red Rose by virtue of the three-year residency rule, having joined Wasps in 2013.
"I have no qualms. I can say England is my home now and I feel English because I've played for my country," he said, according to BBC Radio 5 Live. "It is the thing that provides my food, my shelter. Why not play for your country that I live in?"
But Hughes also insisted that money was not the only reason behind his decision to play for England, pointing out that it is logistically easier, too. The forward said it makes sense for him to play international rugby for the country in which he lives.
"To play for England is not all about money. It is about representing the country and representing where I live and where I play my rugby," he said. "I said to my wife: 'If I play for Fiji I will be travelling back and forth. If I play for England I'm here and you will be here.' It wasn't the hardest decision."
Hughes also explained that he had received support from friends and family in Fiji, despite opting against playing for the country of his birth. "There was a lot of videos and cheering and stuff sent to me," Hughes revealed. "People were saying: 'Everyone's wearing the Red Rose here in Fiji.'"