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Page last updated at 07:52 GMT, Tuesday, 8 September 2009 08:52 UK

Fourie available for England call

Hendre Fourie
South African-born Fourie made his Leeds debut in 2007

Leeds' South African flanker Hendre Fourie has declared himself available for England selection.

The 29-year-old has now qualified as English through residency and, like New Zealand-born centre Riki Flutey, can now play for Martin Johnson's side.

"I've qualify through residency and I would definitely play if they wanted me," Fourie told BBC Radio Leeds.

"South Africa didn't want me when I played there, so if England selected me I'd be honoured."

Fourie is the linchpin of the Leeds side, highlighted by his man-of-the-match display in the 9-9 opening-day draw with Newcastle.

Born in Burgersdorp, Eastern Cape, the back-rower played for Shimlas, Maties, the University of Free State and the Cheetahs in his home country before moving to Yorkshire with Rotherham Titans.

Fourie signed for Leeds in 2007, but has had his last two seasons cut short through injury.

He is now looking to follow in the footsteps of Brive's Flutey, who has nine England caps after originally being called up during his time at Wasps.

"I've signed the papers to say am I now an English player and not a foreigner in the team," explained Fourie.


"If they want to pick me, they can and I'd certainly be keen to play.

"It would be hard to play against the Springboks, but if they ring me up then I will play.

"I think I'm a better player now than when the South Africa selectors were looking at me five years ago, so we'll see."

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