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
Double Olympic champion Mo Farah collapsed on the finish line after completing the New York half marathon
Daniel Ricciardo has been stripped of his second place finish at the Australian Grand Prix after his car was found to be in breach of fuel flow regulations
Frank Lampard could yet follow in David Beckham's footsteps with LA Galaxy set to revive their interest in the Chelsea midfielder
All Black Israel Dagg is relishing the thought of a head-to-head battle against England's Mike Brown this summer, telling the Rugby Paper that his England counterpart is "world class right now".
Mike Brown is upbeat about England's prospects heading into this summer's Test series against New Zealand, moving on from the disappointment of their runners-up finish to Ireland in this year's Six Nations.
In the latest edition of our favourite quotes from the sporting week, Nicolas Anelka wants to break free, Carl Froch cannot ignore George Groves, and Tim Sherwood doesn't fancy playing the role of Supernanny
Going into the Australian Grand Prix, several pundits seemed to be tipping the Williams cars for success. But when did Williams last win a race?
The Inside Line on why we should not be writing off the new-look (and new-sound) Formula One so quickly
How has the Test cap record now held by Brian O'Driscoll evolved down the years of international rugby?
The fallout from Dublin will settle only when someone from the ARU who was involved in the process states what actually occurred, including how the incident or incidents came to light, Greg Growden writes
Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic will renew their rivalry in Sunday's final at Indian Wells after coming throught two very different semi-finals on Saturday
Chelsea have submitted a bid to acquire the Battersea Power Station site for the construction of a 60,000 seat stadium
Three-time world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan is closing in on another Crucible final, after opening up an 11-5 lead over Matthew Stevens after a blistering afternoon's play at the World Snooker Championship
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has warned Manchester United that failure to qualify for the Champions League will lead to many top players refusing to move to Old Trafford
Two head chefs have been sacked by Paris Saint-German after Zlatan Ibrahimovic complained about the quality of the food
With Manchester City defender Martin Demichelis fast emerging as the Premier League's latest figure of fun who can take solace from his medal collection, ESPN present to you the English top flight's most successful duds
After losing his first career match against Fernando Verdasco a decade ago at a Challenger in Segovia, Spain, Andy Murray, then 17, went on to win all eight of their subsequent matches
With Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal suffering shock early round exits at Wimbledon, we take a look back to when the pair contested one of the greatest finals in the history of the Championships
The best of the action from the men's quarter-finals at Wimbledon, including Novak Djokovic, Tomas Berdych, Andy Murray and Juan Martin Del Potro
Robbie McNamara's victory at the Cheltenham Festival on Spring Heeled proved to be the sweetest and most poignant, writes Rob Bartlett