England delay naming squad
Friday 20 September 1996
The RFU is keen to avoid the embarrassment of calling off another training session after the first was boycotted by the players and the second was cancelled. With the players threatening to ignore Wednesday's get-together at Bisham Abbey, the pressure on the RFU to sort out their differences with Epruc has been further increased by Australia's demand to play England when they visit these shores for a tour during which they play Wales.
The dispute is not helping the coach, Jack Rowell, to prepare his squad for the Test against Italy on 23 November. If the RFU give in to the entreaties of the Australian Rugby Union, who have offered two new possible dates for a Test, 2 or 16 November, Rowell will need every spare moment. The issue is so important to the Australians they are reported to have threatened to cancel the Test against Wales unless England are added to the tour.
The ARU chief executive, John O'Neill, admitted money played its part in the push to play England. "We're not ashamed to say there are financial objectives. I think these people need a big jolt. We all face enormous challenges in the professional era."
Hope for them came when Bob Weighill, secretary of the Four Home Unions Tours committee, said yesterday: "Every effort is being made to resolve the matter of whether an England v Australia fixture can be slotted into the tour programme."
The game's trouble transition to professional status sees Epruc under fire from Scotland, too. The Scottish Rugby Union has called a meeting of its First and Second Division clubs for 9 October to discuss whether its players and clubs should join Epruc.
In a letter signed by its president, Fred McLeod, the SRU warns of the "fatal attraction" in joining Epruc's breakaway, describing the move as one which "cares only for the bottom line of English club rugby, and most certainly cares nothing for Scottish rugby". The SRU's concern was heightened by a letter from Mike Smith, Epruc director and Saracens' chief executive, who does not believe the Scottish, Welsh and Irish clubs will be "box office".
Latest in Sport
Kevin Garside: Manchester United may have history and tradition but, as David Moyes never realised, a big-time manager always bends such things to his will
Louis van Gaal denies problem with Wilfried Zaha despite Manchester United forward being given no game time
Calum Chambers: Who is Arsenal's £16m right-back target?
Manchester United latest: Angel Di Maria move no closer as Juan Mata emerges as Louis van Gaal's favoured No 10 as prospect of signing
Arsenal transfer news: Versatile Calum Chambers is a 'gamble', admits Arsene Wenger as Arsenal spending passes £50m
- 1 Secret Cinema: Why were Back to the Future screenings cancelled?
- 2 Christians: The world's most persecuted people
- 3 The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 4 Ross Burden dead: MasterChef and Ready Steady Cook star, dies aged 45
- 5 Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Negotiable: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Account Manager (Junior) Account ...
£50000 - £60000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...
£200 - £260 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Accountant, Reconciliations, Bristo...
£20000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: An experienced Tes...