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.
Everton manager Robert Martinez is confident Romelu Lukaku will be able to face Swansea even though he limped off with a toe injury during last Sunday's 3-1 Premier League win at Burnley
Everton manager Roberto Martinez has ruled out a January move for defensive reinforcements despite a long-term injury to John Stones
Romain Grosjean is refusing to rule out a switch to a team further up the F1 grid despite Lotus' recent statement it is "very close" to confirming him for 2015
Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp has backed Rio Ferdinand after the defender was given a three-match FA ban for a comment he posted on Twitter
Roy Keane claims Paul Scholes was too lazy to do interviews as a player and suspects it is big cheques that have persuaded his old Manchester United team-mate to enter television punditry
If you fancy Manchester United to pick up another 1-1 draw when they take on Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium, you can get odds of 7/1 with Bet365
ESPN looks ahead to the third US Grand Prix in Austin and the worrying state of Formula One as it arrives with two fewer teams than it had in Russia
'The head-in-the-sand attitude of the teams does them no credit.' Maurice Hamilton looks at the state of Formula One after the collapse of Marussia and Caterham since the last grand prix
With the All Blacks playing the USA Eagles this weekend, Craig Dowd says rugby is ready to make a professional breakthrough Stateside
Diafra Sakho has scored in his first six Premier League matches for West Ham - is this a record?
The FA has suspended Mark Clattenburg from refereeing any Premier League games this weekend after he travelled alone to West Bromwich Albion's 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace last Saturday
Manchester United have produced as many footballers currently playing in Europe's top five leagues as Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham combined, according to new research
The voice of Arsene Wenger and a whole host of others from the footballing world will be heard around London Underground stations as part of "London Poppy Day" on Thursday
Daniel Sturridge has claimed his Liverpool team-mate Mario Balotelli is misunderstood after backing the striker to answer his critics following a tough start to his career at Anfield
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has told some of his fringe players they have made his next team selection "easy" after they failed to make the most of their opportunity against Shrewsbury
Simon Barnes asks what kind of football spectators really want as Chelsea and the richer clubs lead the way in drowning football's drama and beauty in cynicism
Division ran through Wimbledon in the early 2000s when the town's team were moved to Milton Keynes but a steadfast fan base refused to follow, famously setting up their own non-League team, AFC Wimbledon
Nathan Cleverly tells ESPN that American Bernard Hopkins is facing a stoppage defeat and the end of his career when he fights Sergey Kovalev in a world light-heavyweight title unification bout on November 8
A Chinese table tennis player endured what appeared to be a Temur Ketsbaia-inspired moment on Sunday - which reportedly cost him almost £28,000 in prize money
Steve Bunce takes an alternative look at Muhammad Ali and George Foreman's Rumble in the Jungle with nine punchy points you probably didn't know