RUGBY UNION: Andrew seeking specifics

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The Independent Online
IT'S a funny old world, as someone else ousted from No 10 might have put it, and although Rob Andrew is hardly the confrontational type he made it clear yesterday that he would appreciate chapter and verse from Geoff Cooke on why he had been dropped as England's outside-half.

The manager has tended to regard Andrew's predictability as his strength and, until England lost to Wales last Saturday, was consistent in his appreciation. Ousted by Stuart Barnes for the England-Scotland game on 6 March, Andrew said: 'I want a long talk with Geoff Cooke and the England selectors to find out exactly what I have to do to get back into the team.'

Even armed with that information, Andrew will hardly add to his record 52 caps this season since it would be unthinkable for Barnes not to be given a second opportunity against Ireland on 20 March however he went against the Scots.

In Wales, Heineken League clubs have agreed in principle to no First Division fixtures on Saturdays before next season's internationals. The clubs meet Bob Norster and Alan Davies, the Wales manager and coach, on Wednesday to discuss international preparation, which is not being helped by fixtures such as this afternoon's crucial Cardiff-Llanelli match.

Swansea, two points behind Cardiff with six to play, have had a request to postpone today's game against Pontypool turned down. Swansea are without five hookers through injury and suspension.

Andrew back on beat, page 55

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