An international tug-of-war is set to unfold over the allegiances of Harlequins winger Louis Lynagh, and a first call into England 's ranks hasn't deterred Australia coach Dave Rennie in the pursuit.
Lynagh, 20, was summoned for a recent training camp with the Red Rose after a breakout season at Harlequins ended with him scoring two tries in an historic 40-38 comeback win over Exeter Chiefs in the Premiership final.
The son of Wallabies legend Michael—Australia's all-time top scorer with 911 points in 72 caps—also qualifies for Italy having been born in Treviso, but the battle for his talents looks like a two-horse race.
And while former Australia coach Eddie Jones may have stolen a march in snagging Lynagh's loyalties, Rennie told reporters on Friday the fight isn't over until the player is officially an England player.
"Obviously Eddie's well aware of his lineage and (the need to) catch him quickly," Rennie said after announcing his 37-man squad for the upcoming autumn tour.
"But we'll see how things go there, whether they use him or not over the next period and whether there's any interest in him to come back to Australia.
"Not until he's capped (is he England's)."
Rennie also mentioned Wallabies director Scott Johnson had reached out to Louis' father, Michael, in the hope there may be a lifeline for the youngster to one day represent the green and gold.
Lynagh has lived in England since he moved from Italy aged five, earning his professional debut for Harlequins in September 2019.
The prospect has quickly made strides and became a more frequent fixture for the Premiership outfit en route to the title last term, scoring six tries in 11 league appearances.
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That was no one-off, it seems, after opening the current campaign with three tries in Quins' first two games.
England host Tonga at Twickenham on November 6, which would be Jones' first chance to cap Lynagh and claim the speedster on behalf of the 2019 Rugby World Cup runners-up.
Australia then make their own visit to London on November 13, by which point Lynagh could be in the frame to face the nation his father vice-captained to the 1991 world title.
The youngest member of the Lynagh legacy, Louis' little brother Tom, is on the books with the Queensland Reds and has made public his desire to play for the Wallabies like his dad.
That sets the stage for a potential sibling showdown in the future, with expectations on both players understandably high considering their father's feats in the sport.
Jones will be all too aware of the pressure to now pick Quins star Lynagh for the upcoming November series, lest he risk losing the player to his own birth nation at a later date.
The coach made a number of high-profile omissions in his latest training squad, with many raising eyebrows at the absences of Billy Vunipola and his brother Mako, as well as Jamie George, Elliot Daly and George Ford.
Lynagh is one of the blossoming talents hoping to capitalise by breaking into the ranks of his adopted nation, but the Wallabies are waiting in the wings to make their move should he miss out.
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