By Ali Stokes
Former England national squad outsiders Will Addison, Mike Haley and Billy Burns have taken to their new leases of life with Irish provinces Munster and Ulster to favourable effect so far this season, with all three firmly establishing themselves within their respective Irish side's first teams.
Most significantly, former Sale Sharks captain turned Ulster utility man, Addison, has been named in Joe Schmidt's latest Ireland squad ahead of the 2018 Autumn Internationals, having made just four appearances for the Northern Ireland side so far this season.
Having started twice at fullback and outside centre for Ulster during their current campaign, Addison has caught the eye of the national selectors, providing the level of versatility that could well see him included in Ireland's World Cup squad next year.
Addison's former Sale Sharks teammate, Mike Haley, has not cracked the Ireland squad this time around, but it seems a mere matter of time before the Munster fullback sees his name included on one of Schmidt's team announcement emails.
Firmly establishing himself as Munster's first-choice 15 from the word go, the 24-year-old former England Saxons man claimed his first try in the iconic red jersey last weekend during his side's Champions Cup victory over former Premiership rival side Gloucester.
During his two starts for the England Saxons during their two-match series against a South Africa A side, which included a host of current Springbok internationals, Haley tore his opponents apart with a stunning display of decisive ball-running, hinting at the type of threat he may add to Ireland's armoury when back to top form.
A third English-born back, who is yet to claim any ambitions of featuring for Ireland, is also drawing the attention of Pro14 viewers having hopped leagues over the summer.
Former Gloucester fly-half Billy Burns, brother of former England international Freddie, is also proving a hit with Ulster alongside Addison. A potentially underappreciated talent within the Premiership, Burns has been marshalling the Ulsterman to tremendous effect so far this campaign, pulling off a particularly impressive piece of back-to-back kicking skill for Jacob Stockdale's score against French giants Racing 92 last weekend.
Like Addison and Haley, Burns is qualified to represent Ireland through his ancestry, with an Irish grandparent.
However, Burns will find his potential path to an Irish cap staunch with competition, with two time Lions tourist Jonathan Sexton and up and coming duo Ross Byrne (Leinster) and Joey Carbery (Munster) already established in a firm competition for match-day spots.
But Burns' brand of rugby seems to have fitted into the Pro14 style well, relishing the opportunity to feature in a league less reliant on the game's bigger men.