Stuart Lancaster: “I’d like a Newscastle v Sale Final”

England head coach Stuart Lancaster was recently quoted  as saying his best-case scenario for the Premiership Final next May was a Newcastle v Sale contest.

The home nations and France are facing the prospect of having to travel to their summer tours in 2014 shorn of their best players. With domestic finals the weekend before the first tests , players involved  would not be available in time for the first game on tour.

So imagine if last year’s Premiership finalists ,Leicester Tigers and Northampton Saints, make it to the showpiece event at Twickenham on May 31. On current selection, over a dozen players could be missing.

England play three matches against world champions New Zealand,with the first on June 7,but with the Premiership Final on May 31, and players not able to fly out until the next day,anyone involved in it will not be available in time for the first test. England will therefore be forced to field a severely weakened side against the All Blacks. after the IRB ruled that the series could not be delayed by a week.Wales and Ireland face similar situations,if their teams are involved in the  RaboDirect PRO12 Final,while any French players involved in the Top 14 will also miss their first test against Australia.

Stuart Lancaster is understood to be deeply frustrated with this situation. With test game time rapidly running out in the lead up to RWC2015, he would have wanted his group of players together for the whole series.

Lancaster himself has been diplomatic about the whole situation publicly, but its time for Newcastle and Sale to step up to the plate…..


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