Domestic finals impact on summer tours
November 13, 2013
France, Wales and Ireland all face the possibility of starting their summer tours with weakened sides after the IRB rejected requests to have dates of tour matches shifted by a week. England find themselves in a similar situation for their three-Test tour of New Zealand.
The most seriously affected are France who play the first Test against Australia on June 7. With the Top 14 final scheduled for May 31, players involved in that will have to fly to Australia the next day meaning they are unlikely to be in consideration for the Test.
The RaboDirect Pro 12 final also takes place on May 31 and may impact on Wales' tour to South Africa and Ireland's to Argentina, depending who makes the final.
Ireland are set to meet Argentina in the first of two Tests on June 7; Wales, who play two Tests, have yet to announce the dates of their matches so there is a possibility they could be delayed until June 14 and 21.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Communication error please reload the page.
Owen Farrell will make his first start for five weeks - and a fortnight before England face world champions New Zealand - when Saracens tackle European Champions Cup rivals Munster on Friday night
Brendan Rodgers says the "case is closed" regarding Mario Balotelli's half-time shirt swap with Real Madrid's Pepe, but raised doubts over the striker's long-term future at Anfield
Clermont Auvergne forward Julien Bardy has received a five-week ban for striking Saracens and England number eight Billy Vunipola with his knee during last Saturday's European Champions Cup clash at Allianz Park
Andy Murray has cruised into the quarter-finals of the Valencia Open with a 6-2 6-4 victory over Fabio Fognini
The group of investors that have been running Caterham since July claim Tony Fernandes still owns the team and is responsible for its uncertain future