Brett Morris open to shock Test defection

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NRL: Brett Morris capped a sensational return to the NRL with a hat-trick for the Bulldogs in their 40-14 win over Brisbane Broncos at ANZ Stadium.

Brett Morris scored a hat-trick in his return from injury for the Bulldogs. Picture: Mark Evans

BULLDOGS winger Brett Morris has refused to rule out making a shock switch to play for England as part of Wayne Bennett’s masterplan to reignite them as a rugby league powerhouse.

After taking over as England coach, Bennett has reportedly shown interest in poaching Morris, his twin brother Josh and Newcastle playmaker Trent Hodkinson for this year’s Four Nations series.

Morris qualifies for England through his grandparents and said despite having 18 Test caps for Australia, he was keeping his options open about a change of allegiance.

“There’s been no chat between Wayne and us about that. We are eligible to play for England through our grandad and our mother lived in England until she was 13-years-old,” Morris said on Monday.

“There is that option but it’s not something we’ve looked into seriously at all.”

Brett Morris scored a hat-trick in his return from injury for the Bulldogs. Picture: Mark EvansSource:News Corp Australia

Morris’ three-try performance in his first game back in nine months from a knee injury against Bennett’s Brisbane on Saturday would have only heightened the mastercoach’s interest.

Morris qualifies for England, despite having represented Australia and NSW, with players allowed under Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) rules to make one selection switch between World Cups or after two years.

If Morris were to defect, it would mean he is no longer eligible for NSW.

Brett Morris has played 18 Tests for Australia. Picture: Brett CostelloSource:News Corp Australia

Bennett was reported to have recently met with Australian-based English-eligible players however Morris said he was yet to hear from the seven-time NRL premiership-winning coach.

Asked how it would feel pulling on the English jumper and singing a different anthem, Morris said: “I don’t even know the answer.

“To me, I haven’t even thought about it, it’s something that’s completely left field.

“But you’ve always got to keep your options open.”

SWITCHING ALLEGIANCES

RLIF rules on switching nations

* A player qualifies for a country in which they are born; a country in which either of their grandparents were born or a country which has been their principle place of residence for three years

* A player with dual eligibility is entitled to make one allegiance change during an election period (until the end of the next World Cup or the expiry of two years).

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