/ News

Armitage says door 'not wholly closed' on England
ESPN Staff
April 24, 2014
Steffon Armitage ... still in England's thoughts © Getty Images

Steffon Armitage may still be in with an outside chance of being picked for England despite the RFU's hardline stance on not picking players based abroad after Stuart Lancaster told him the door "was not wholly closed".

There had been increasing calls in the last fortnight for the position to be relaxed with a number of former players and pundits urging a rethink. However, Ian Ritchie, the RFU chairman, reiterated there would be no exceptions to the policy.

Earlier this week Lancaster visited Toulon to speak with Armitage and his brother, Delon, and while all he could do was explain the existing policy it was clear he was keen to keep the lines of communication open.

"Stuart said that the RFU rules are probably not going to change, but that the door is not wholly closed," Steffon Armitage told the Daily Mail. "Of course I would love to play for England again. I've never given up on that. At least I know now that I am not completely out of people's minds."

The Independent quoted an unnamed RFU source as saying: "Stuart wanted to talk to them face to face, to hear from them how they saw their careers developing and to tell them that the door wasn't completely closed. If there are a number of injuries in one position in the run- up to the World Cup, they could come under consideration."

The mixed messages will only serve to further muddy the waters. Earlier in the month England coach Graham Rowntree was unambiguous in his stance. "Our stance is quite clear - we want to promote those guys playing in England for obvious reasons," he said. "While they are playing well, we're quite content with that. It's Steffon's decision completely and I'm comfortable with our stance."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.

  • Latest
  • Most Viewed
  • News
  • Features
  • Poker

    American Poker Awards handed out in Los Angeles

    Alex Dreyfus, CEO of the Global Poker Index, envisioned the day when he purchased the European Poker Awards two years ago. While the Europeans have had an annual awards celebration for over a decade, America has never seen a poker awards experience before

  • Boxing

    Anthony Joshua hints at future bout with Tony Thompson

    Unbeaten heavyweight Anthony Joshua has hinted at a potential fight with American veteran Tony Thompson

  • Formula 1

    Manor confirms it will race in Australia

    The Manor Marussia F1 team has confirmed it will take part in the Australian Grand Prix in less than two weeks after naming Stephen Fitzpatrick as the man behind its financial revival

  • Rugby

    Cotter protects three ahead of England clash

    Scotland head coach Vern Cotter has been forced to recall three players from club duty in order to cover player injuries

  • Golf

    British Masters returns with Poulter as host

    Four of England's top golfers will take turns hosting the British Masters when the event returns to the European Tour schedule this year

  • News
  • Features
Sponsored Links
Make Huge Income from your Home
Download your Free Guide And Learn How To Increase Your Monthly Income