Five players ruled out of England tour to New Zealand


Leicester Tigers hooker Tom Youngs will not tour New Zealand with England this summer and will stay at home to support his wife who is ill.

Leicester Tigers Director of Rugby Richard Cockerill said: “These things are more important than rugby, and Tom and his family have the full support of everyone at Leicester Tigers. We hope everyone respects their privacy at this time.”

England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster said: “Our thoughts are with Tom and Tiffany at this time and it is entirely right that he stays at home to support her and their daughter Maisie. Everyone in the England squad sends them our best wishes.”

Alex Corbisiero, Tom Croft, Jack Nowell and Christian Wade will also not be considered for the tour.

Lancaster added: “Alex and Tom have worked really hard to come back before the end of the season but they will not have played enough rugby for them to be considered for such a tour. It’s the same with Christian Wade. They have all had significant injuries and their return to play has been carefully managed in conjunction with their clubs. It will be a short term loss but a long term gain for us and their clubs as we enter a huge 18 months.

“Jack needs to get his knee sorted so he will be ready for next season and the World Cup and it’s the right decision for him to have the operation next week.”

England medical staff are in touch with Gloucester and Bath over the fitness of Rob Webber and Billy Twelvetrees.

Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

16 thoughts on “Five players ruled out of England tour to New Zealand

  1. None of these are massive losses.

    Youngs was a line out liability in the Six Nations, and to be honest that is almost as bad as Hartley’s occasional ill discipline (which in fairness he kept a lid on for the most part), although his reasons for missing the tour are unfortunate and I personally wish him and his family all the best.

    Corbs and Croft have been out of the England set up for a while, and though both will become pivotal figures in the squad, their return to the match day 22 was never a dead cert.

    Nowell and Wade are arguably more annoying, as it would have been nice to see them get a run out. But with Ashton seeming to be back on form, and May deserving another run out, neither are massive losses.

    1. Agreed, Marler has come on at a rate of knots, the more game time he gets in Corb’s absence the better. Youngs can only throw to Parling, Slater and Croft, who isn’t going anyway and Parling and Slater will be hard pressed to displace our current partnership.

      Wade is more annoying but it does have a bright side. I read that if he couldn’t make the tour, he’d be spending the summer in America with a sprint training coach to increase his pace to frightening levels. If he can stay fit, he should have a stellar 2014-15 season.

  2. Replacement hooker is always going to have a rougher time of it than the starter, and it was quite clear that sometimes it wasn’t Youngs’ fault (no jumpers??).

    Corbs in any sort of form walks back into the 23. Croft suits our new game very well, and I think we’ll have an interesting tussle between him and Wood.

    May didn’t do enough in my mind, and I’d like to see Yarde and Roko take the starting berths, with Ashton waiting for a chance if Roko disappoints. If you’ve not seen Yardes 3 tries from the weekend, they were excellent. The last being an example of what May should have done in Ireland, wingers instinct, pin your ears back and score the try.

    1. It doesn’t really matter who was responsible for the failure of the lineout when Youngs came on.
      He was the constant during the poor throwing – it went from near 100% to a liability.

  3. Ignoring the first test, which will pick itself once the Prem final is decided. For the second two tests I’d like to see this side:

    1. Marler. 2. Hartley. 3. Wilson. 4. Launchbury. 5. Lawes. 6. Wood. 7. Robshaw. 8 Vunipola. 9. Care. 10. Farrell. 11. Yarde. 12. Twelvetrees (Burrell is he’s injured). 13. Tuilagi. 14. Ashton. 15. Brown.

    16. George. 17. Vunipola. 18. Thomas. 19. Parling. 20. Haskell. 21. Youngs. 22. Ford/Cipriani (can’t decide here). 23. Foden

  4. How can it not matter who’s responsible for the failure of the lineout?

    As to the 2nd test, I’m unsure of Ashton, I say give Roko the first test, and decide on that as to whether we want Ashton back or stick with Roko. We need to try and find some actual wingers and give them experience, even if Ashton is going well for Sarries (which he was doing back in the Autumn too…)

    And I think your bench is wrong. Wouldn’t argue the first 3, but Parling doesn’t offer enough weight should we lose Launch, and really fails to help Thomas out at all. We saw NZ gain dominance over our scrum last autumn when Launch came off through injury. With Thomas on the bench, we need bulk behind him. Attwood can call, and Lawes is fixed on caller for now, Parling either starts or isn’t in the 23 for me. The other issue is Foden, he’s shown no sort of form whatsoever, and is being outplayed by Goode, regardless of opinion on Goode’s ability at the top level. Goode also offers us that 2nd receiver option for the two sided attack we’ve been attempting to develop, which may suffer without 36.

    1. Parling offers far more in terms of carrying and scrummaging than he is given credit for – so I don’t think it is that cut and dry with him. He also has more experience than most of the England squad, and is very well respected amongst the group. We seem to have forgotten that he was one of the first names on the team sheet a year ago – he seems to have suffered in most people opinions whilst he has been out injured.

      I think if the Thomas issue is on him to sort – not remove the better lock because of it. Unfortunately I’m scratching my head as to where we can find another tight-head, but there must be one of quality around somewhere!?

      Don’t agree on Foden either. His form has been good, whilst not outstanding. Foden also covers wing – meaning we won’t have to see Brown moved when/if Goode comes on.

      1. Parling isn’t the guy you would ideally have scrummaging behind the tighthead. When that tighthead is probably Thomas (who can’t get a start at his club) then it’s all the more important to get some serious grunt, which Attwood provides. Attwood was been good all season and was excellent off the bench in the 6N so don’t think he should be leapfrogged by Parling just yet.

        If we lost Lawes then I’d go Parling and Launch, if we lost Launch I’d go Lawes and Attwood as the combinations.

        Foden does seem to take a long time to get really sharp after injury, he seems to be getting there. Would rather we go for him than Goode!

        Agree with DanD I would like to see how Roko goes in a first test before deciding if Ashton comes back.

        1. My feelings on the locks precisely. One of Lawes/Parling + one of Launch/Attwood. Unfortunately for me the bench man has to be big, since he needs to offer the injury replacement option.

          And in the Autumn we had Cole and Wilson I believe, and our scrum still suffered after losing Launch.

  5. Disagree with Will on the loss of Youngs. I think this is a big loss because of (not despite) the lineout problems during the 6N.

    Youngs was very successful at the lineout for Leicester, so clearly something is not working at the England lineouts. The tour would be ideal to spend time working closely with the jumpers and Hartley in ironing out these issues.

    Given that Hartley, Wood and Lawes all work together very closely, my fear is that anyone other than Hartley may struggle in the same way for England.

  6. Youngs is a loss, he can throw (he was the most reliable with the Lions, he’s good with Tigers) so whatever the issue has been with England it must be fixable and that can only be done within the England camp, whether he’s in the 23 or not.

    I would still go with Hartley/Lawes and Webber/Attwood as my first choice and back up combinations (if fit), because Youngs has been yippy with England, but it’s a shame he won’t get the time in the camp to work on it.

    Slightly surprised Corbs has been ruled out, we saw last year he came back from injury, play against the Baa Baas to Lions legend in the space of a few weeks. But I’m sure they know what’s best and would take him if it was an option. At least it takes any pressure off to rush back (same with Wade) before he’s really ready.

  7. So who would people choose to take rather than Youngs?

    Personally would plump for Dave Ward who seems to have a certain spark about his play. Wouldn’t be upset about Jamie George going either – am assuming Webber will be injured.

    On the tighthead front, anyone else think they should take Sinckler, if only for the experience? He’s been playing brilliantly for Quins given his age and the pressure matches they’ve been playing

  8. The point is that even if Youngs’ throws were accurate the timing was off.

    We know that the jumpers timings were fine with Hartley because we had a close to perfect completion %.

    So the issue lies with Youngs – he is the common factor in our lineout’s disintegration.

  9. Young is a loss, regardless of the lineout, England will be going to NZ without a lions front row. I would like to see Ward go. Saracens have been cautious with the development of George, and I don’t doubt that he will become a very good player, but I think Ward offers more around the pitch and in terms of experience.

    I think it’s more important to have a lump on the bench for second row, so I would go for Attwood over Parling.

    I would also go with Haskell on the bench ahead of Morgan, provides the option to sub someone other than Vunipola.

    I hope that the injury to 36 isn’t serious, but him being unable to tour forces different centre combinations to be tried out. Eastmond is one I really want to see.

  10. Jacob

    Seems an accurate pick to me.

    Of Youngs, Corbisiero, Croft, Nowell & Wade, for me Wade’s loss is a shame. He could, given that he’d have got any ball, have shown what he is capable of in the most hostile of condidtions.

    Corbisiero is still a loss for me, esp out there as they’ll really need to hold up @ scrum. Marler may do, or he may not. Unfortunately for Corbisiero, his knee prob may be terminal… is this why Irish let him go?

    Croft has been out for so long now, he seems almost a forgotten man. Unlucky for him, altho, IMO, he’s a better guy in a side that is going fwd rather than backwards. He may have found the going tough as he’d likely seen little ball with which to run like the wind. Might have stillleapt lke a salmon@ lineout tho.

    Diff time for Youngs. More robust than I’d thought he’d be. A bit small, but Hartley seemed the incumbent anyway.

    Nowell, the least of the losses? Maybe, but didn’t see enough quick, quality ball for me with England, so hard to tell. He had a real crack tho & seemed pretty unafraid. As another said tho, Ashton looked handy for Saracens of late.

  11. Just read that Twelvetrees is out for 6 weeks. We’re also most likely going to be without one of Burrell or Tuilagi for the first test. Hoping the Tigers make the final, I’d like the chance to see either Burrell/Daly or Eastmond/Burrell.

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