Lancaster frustrated by fixture congestion
May 16, 2014
Stuart Lancaster could be without his captain Chris Robshaw for the first Test against the All Blacks © Getty Images
Stuart Lancaster has spoken of his frustration at the fixture congestion which leaves him unable to call on some of his most senior players for the start of England's tour to New Zealand.
The first Test kicks off in Auckland on June 7, a week after the Aviva Premiership final, meaning the England squad will travel to New Zealand without the players involved in that game. If there is a Northampton-Harlequins final, up to eight first-choice players will be ruled out of the first Test, including captain Chris Robshaw.
Northampton Flanker Tom Wood has already branded the situation "ridiculous" and Lancaster said the situation was far from ideal: "It's hard to disagree with the way Tom articulated it. Tom, like everyone else, is very frustrated by the situation.
"We get very few opportunities to go to a country like New Zealand and play against them, so you want to go with your best side."
But Lancaster has earned a reputation as a steady hand on the tiller and insisted his squad would be prepared for the first Test: "It's something I've known for a long time and I'm trying to get on with the practicalities of it."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Communication error please reload the page.
Sir Alex Ferguson will give a motivational talk to Europe's Ryder Cup stars during their team dinner at Gleneagles on Tuesday night
Munster and Ireland supporters are unlikely to see Donnacha Ryan in action again until well into the New Year
Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Samir Nasri have joined Manchester City's lengthening injury list as they are set to face Sheffield Wednesday with players six sidelined
Liverpool have moved a step closer to expanding Anfield stadium after a planning application was approved unanimously by the city's council
Graeme McDowell says the reason he is unlikely to partner Rory McIlroy in Friday's opening session of the Ryder Cup is because he feels his compatriot's rise to stardom has seen their dynamic "changed forever"
"Family is Jean's priority and he puts that into a team context." Firdose Moonda pays tribute to Jean de Villiers with input from Allister Coetzee
With boxing trash talk in Britain descending into vile hate-filled vitriol, Steve Bunce believes silence like Tyson Fury's at his recent press conference may be golden
Manchester City begin their League Cup defence at home to Sheffield Wednesday tomorrow with Manuel Pellegrini surely set to rest some of his first team stars
Ian Poulter reveals all to ESPN about Europe's strengths going into the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles
Do you know if Bennie Osler, the famous Springbok fly-half, and the FL Osler who played for Scotland in 1911 were related?
Jose Mourinho has accused Manuel Pellegrini of hypocrisy for criticising his team after Chelsea's 1-1 draw against Manchester City
Mario Balotelli revelled in Manchester United's shock 5-3 defeat at Leicester with a mocking tweet on Sunday
Louis van Gaal believes Manchester United can manage without defender Jonny Evans as they wait to find out how severe the centre-back's injury is
Pablo Zabaleta believes Chelsea's Diego Costa should have been sent off in the same incident that saw the Manchester City defender given his marching orders on Sunday
Mesut Ozil may be bemused by the rush to criticise his form this season and refusing to accept he has anything to prove but the Arsenal midfielder says he "always comes out on top"
Football action so extraordinary that it even made the Queen Mum of Football - Gary Lineker - swear on Twitter, this was a weekend that made WWE seem staid
Kell Brook has arrived at IBF champion Devon Alexander's doorstep after winning his latest eliminator against Hector Saldivia
Manchester United looked what they actually are in their 5-3 defeat at Leicester - an unfamiliar group, only recently assembled and working under a coach who does not favour making things simple
What is Paul di Resta doing with his time, now that he is out of Formula One?
Is Julian Savea's record of try-scoring the best over 25 Tests?