Gatland wary of English bad boys

Wed, 13 Feb 2013 07:49
Large warren gatland beer 630 Large warren gatland bar Large gatland farrell rowntree ho

British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland has admitted that he is wary of picking too many English players for the tour of Australia.

British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland has admitted that he is wary of picking too many English players for the tour of Australia despite their Six Nations form.

The 49-year-old New Zealander - who guided Wales to the Six Nations Grand Slam last year but has taken a leave of absence to coach the Lions - said the bad behaviour of some of the England players at the 2011 World Cup could be a bad omen.

That is despite a radical overhaul of the players since then by no-nonsense coach Stuart Lancaster, who replaced Martin Johnson after the World Cup debacle, and who has also been strict with players who have strayed since then.

"We all know what happened with England at the World Cup and the circus that was created," said Gatland.

"There are other pressures that come with selecting a lot of English players," he added.

The Kiwi mentor admitted that given their current form it will be tough to leave too many England players out, but explained that he would like to minimise the role of the media on the Lions tour.

"At the moment England are playing well. They did well in the autumn, particularly the outstanding victory against the All Blacks.

"And, if they do well in the Six Nations, there will be a reasonable contingent of English players.

"But it becomes a much greater media focus from the English papers and potentially a negative focus from the Australian papers. And English players are targeted by other countries.

"They are not always the most popular with other countries because of the history. People like having a pop at them," he said.

Gatland's comments were greeted with disbelief by several former England internationals including former skipper Bill Beaumont.

"I was lucky enough to be captain in 1980, Martin Johnson skippered the team to the famous 1997 series win, as well as leading the side for a historic second time, when going down to Australia," said Beaumont, who was capped 34 times by England from 1975-1982 and earned seven caps for the Lions.

"Wearing the Lions shirt, whether captain or player, is something that all English players take very seriously.

"This will undoubtedly continue for those that get picked this time.

"It is well documented the strong culture and sense of responsibility on and off the pitch that this England team possesses.

"Those fortunate enough to get picked will of course take those attributes Down Under."

AFP

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 19h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 16 December 2017
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Treviso v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Bath v Toulon 17h30 Recreation Ground
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
RESULT SCORE
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
Treviso v Leinster 10 | 36
BRITISH & IRISH LIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
B&I Lions 0 0 0 0 0
Australia 0 0 0 0 0
Barbarians 0 0 0 0 0
Force 0 0 0 0 0
Reds 0 0 0 0 0
Waratahs 0 0 0 0 0
Brumbies 0 0 0 0 0
Rebels 0 0 0 0 0
NSW-Queensland 0 0 0 0 0
Blues 0 0 0 0 0
Highlanders 0 0 0 0 0
Hurricanes 0 0 0 0 0
Crusaders 0 0 0 0 0
Chiefs 0 0 0 0 0
NZ Barbarians 0 0 0 0 0
Maori All Blacks 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0
RELATED ARTICLES