Lancaster backs RFU's overseas policy
May 26, 2014
Steffon Armitage has had a remarkable season for Toulon © Getty Images
Armitage picked up the Man of the Match award for his showing in the Heineken Cup final leading to calls from Sir Clive Woodward for the RFU to relax its policy of only picking those playing abroad in 'exceptional circumstances'. But Lancaster, speaking at the unveiling of the 30-man squad for the first Test against the All Blacks, said he was a supporter of the RFU's policy but admitted Armitage could come back into the reckoning next year if the situation warranted 'exceptional circumstances'.
"I agree with the rule, I agree with the policy," Lancaster said. "I think it's important from an English club point-of-view and the national team to get access to the players when we need them. We want our best players to be playing in England.
"I look at the situation in New Zealand which is a similar system, actually it's even more rigid, where there is no flexibility and it's not done them any harm over the last few years. I think it's a good rule and one I support as national coach.
"That said there is exceptional circumstances and who's to say this time next year he's still playing as well, the door might be open."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Communication error please reload the page.
Andy Murray is safely through to the second round of the Valencia Open thanks to a 6-3 6-3 win over Jurgen Melzer
Former Tour de France champion Chris Froome may target a Giro-Vuelta double rather than compete in the 2015 race after organisers unveiled a demanding route best suited to climbers
Serena Williams was routed 6-0 6-2 by Simona Halep at the WTA Finals on Wednesday in one of the most one-sided losses of the 18-time Grand Slam champion's career
Loic Remy hopes he will recover from injury in time for Chelsea's "huge" Premier League clash at Manchester United on Sunday
Chris Ashton has been left out of England's squad for the autumn internationals
How good is Gennady Golovkin? ESPN's Nick Parkinson talks to Matthew Macklin about the boxer he ranks as the most dominant middleweight since Bernard Hopkins
After Adel Taarabt and Harry Redknapp were told to stop their embarrassing spat by QPR chairman Tony Fernandes, ESPN took a look at five other players who were deemed by their managers to be a little too fond of their food
Liverpool's 4-0 win against Real Madrid in 2009 glossed over the turmoil of the Hicks and Gillett era, writes Rory Smith
Which club has provided the Lions with most fly-halves?
Huw Richards rewinds to 1864 to mark the birth of Welsh rugby's first authentic star - Arthur Gould
Dejan Lovren admits "a lot of things are not right" at Liverpool at the moment and says too many people are playing for themselves rather than the team
Roy Keane has reignited his war of words with Jose Mourinho, claiming it is easy for the Chelsea manager to play mind games with a squad worth £300 million
Manchester United are waiting to see if Angel Di Maria and Ander Herrera will be ruled out of Sunday's game against Chelsea through injury
Louis van Gaal believes Manchester United can still win the Premier League title despite trailing leaders Chelsea by 10 points after just eight games
Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has warned Liverpool fans that it will not help their team's cause to boo Cristiano Ronaldo when the European champions visit Anfield on Wednesday
The trial and sentencing of Oscar Pistorius forces those who witnessed his incredible athletic feats to question themselves all over again, writes Simon Barnes
It really is difficult to think of someone other than Mario Balotelli with such a huge gap between their brilliant ability and their questionable application but patience is required, writes Miguel Delaney
Thirteen consecutive knockouts in world title fights puts Gennady Golovkin in esteemed company - he deserves his chance to prove just how good he is, writes Steve Bunce
The obituaries for Andrea de Cesaris say he entered 214 Grands Prix but never won one - is this a record?
How the instant internet access to the own goals of Richard Dunne and missed sitters of Mario Balotelli killed a generation of Own Goals and Gaffes stars