England Lions players set to bypass rest deal for fall testing | England rugby union team
England’s British and Irish Lions are set to be available for the three fall internationals in November despite an agreement that they will have a week off for social reasons, according to the Guardian.
England face Tonga, Australia and South Africa this fall and – according to a 2018 deal between the Rugby Football Union, Rugby Players’ Association and Premiership Rugby – Lions players are expected to forgo a matches. Forced rests have proven unpopular with players in the past as they have to forgo the lucrative match fee of Â£ 25,000, however, and it is understood that selection will now be based on the circumstances of each individual.
The 13 England players who toured South Africa over the summer are embarking on a 10-week rest period until mid-October under the same deal. However, several are set to return earlier than expected, and some potentially as early as this weekend.
Northampton confirmed on Tuesday that Courtney Lawes, who only played five appearances for the Saints last season, is available for selection while Kyle Sinckler has requested permission to return early for Bristol. The Harlequins have also revealed that Marcus Smith is due to return earlier than planned, having not taken part in any of the three tests against the Springboks, as Jamie George of the Saracens and Jonny Hill of Exeter have been reported to be eager to return. on similar grounds. Bath also revealed that they are discussing the early return of Anthony Watson.
The RFU said return requests can be made sooner with supporting evidence from the player, the club and Eddie Jones and each will be considered individually. But with several Lions expected to forgo their 10-week rest periods and avoid a mandatory week off in the fall, the 2018 deal, at first glance, seems redundant.
England hosted a three-day training camp in Teddington, which ended on Tuesday. Jones selected a 45-man squad including 10 of the 13 Lions last week and even the fact that they were available to attend came as a surprise given the high rate of injury at the English camps over the summer.
The Lions players’ season officially ended on August 7 – when South Africa concluded the series with a victory in the third test – but given travel restrictions they were not allowed to return home. them for an additional 10 days, with some seeing the quarantine period in Jersey. . This quarantine period counted towards their 10-week layoff but, in fact, the England Lions players were on the move for more than 12 months, raising further questions as to why the exceptional 10-week period and the fall rest week is not strictly enforced.
“The Lions players have been wondering,” Bristol rugby manager Pat Lam said. âThey want to start playing again, at all levels. Everything is driven by each player – each player makes this decision themselves. What we will never do is tell a player to come back and play. It depends on that player. Kyle is one of them who asked that he want to play, and then it goes to the RFU and then to ourselves.