Lancaster faces selection headache

Sun, 16 Jun 2013 18:18
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England head coach Stuart Lancaster admits he faces some tricky decisions before he finalises his Elite Player Squad in August.

England head coach Stuart Lancaster admits he faces some tricky decisions before he finalises his Elite Player Squad in August.

Lancaster is due to name a 33-man party and another 33 players in the second-string Saxons side and his choices have not got any easier following the 2-0 win over Argentina.

The coach rested five players - Danny Care, Chris Robshaw, Brad Barritt, Toby Flood and Chris Ashton for the tour to South America and had 10 on British and Irish Lions duty in Australia before Christian Wade's call-up on Saturday.

The youngsters who played in their places such as Jonny May, Freddie Burns, Kyle Eastmond and Matt Kvesic all performed well in Argentina and Lancaster says their performances have given him a selection dilemma.

"The next stage for us is the November internationals," Lancaster told reporters in Buenos Aires after the second Test which England won 51-26.

"We have got Australia, Argentina and New Zealand at Twickenham and we know that Argentina coming on the back of the Rugby Championship will be a very difficult challenge.

"There are some searching decisions and options to be made. What has really pleased me is that a lot of young players have gained a huge amount of experience coming to this fantastic country and played in front of passionate crowds and dealt with it.

"A lot of the young players are not going to be around for six months but five or six years because they are so young.

"Having brought such an inexperienced group out what has pleased most has been the development of leaders outside the players who have been rested or are Lions players.

"In terms of our evolution it has been critical and we can look forward to the November internationals after winning seven out of our last eight games."

England trailed 6-12 at one point in Saturday' s game before scoring seven tries including two penalty tries and debut scores for wing Marland Yarde - who touched down twice - and Eastmond.

May on his debut as a late replacement for the British Lions-bound Wade also impressed Lancaster.

He added: "We knew there was going to be a reaction from Argentina coming into this Test and we felt the full force of it. They closed the gap but towards the end some of the attacking play was exactly what we aimed for.

"I can't think of any errors Jonny made in the game. He was thrown in at the last minute - he didn't score any tries but his defence and positioning for the kick chase were excellent.

"Marland has unbelievable pace and power which makes him hard to tackle and consequently he scores tries. And you can see from the try he scored that Kyle Eastmond has got great pace and great feet."