England's elite rugby director Rob Andrew today warned players who land lucrative club contracts abroad that they risk jeopardising their international careers.
Wasps trio James Haskell, Riki Flutey and Tom Palmer have all agreed summer moves to the French championship and there are fears of a potential exodus across the Channel.
Haskell and Flutey are reported to have nearly trebled their wages at Stade Francais and Brive respectively by virtue of an attractive rate of exchange between the pound and the euro and the fact Top 14 clubs are not hindered by a salary cap.
Martin Johnson warned all three players that moving outside of the Guinness Premiership - and therefore England's £100million elite player agreement - makes it much harder for their form and fitness to be judged.
Haskell insisted moving to France would not affect his England career because his contract with Stade contains a clause making him available for all national training sessions, including those that fall outside of the official international window.
But the Rugby Football Union is still trying to discover exactly how detailed that release agreement is - and Andrew today warned of the severe implications facing any player who is not available for every England training session.
"The key thing is the integrity of the England team and Martin's ability to have the players when he wants them for preparation, which is clearly a massive part of the EPS (elite player squad) agreement," said Andrew.
"These players (who are moving abroad) will need to be available when Martin wants them available because, by definition, if they are not that will compromise their own situation.
"There are two things that will clearly impact on a player playing for England - one is form and the second is whether he is available when the team preparations are going on.
"What we effectively did with the EPS agreement was buy more preparation time. Players would have to make sure they have that covered in their individual contracts
"We need to get the exact detail of what their contracts actually say so we can understand the whole picture."