Lancaster calls for action over schedule farce

Frank Dalleres
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ENGLAND rugby coach Stuart Lancaster insists the fixture scheduling fiasco that limited his selection for the recent Test series defeat in New Zealand must never be repeated.

Saturday’s 36-13 loss completed a 3-0 whitewash at the hands of the All Blacks and, though he made clear he was not offering excuses, Lancaster pointed out that conclusions would have to take into account the club finals in late May that deprived him of Northampton and Saracens players for the start of the tour.

“To not have your first-choice team available was obviously a huge challenge for the first Test and it had a subsequent knock-on effect on selection,” he said.

“We can all sit here and talk about changes to the side but everyone in the know knows why those changes were made. This scheduling issue has to be sorted and can’t be repeated. It is unfair on the players.”

New Zealand’s victory was their 17th in a row, equalling the all-time record for successive Test wins.