Rugby Union: Rowell calls up Redman

Rugby Union
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The Independent Online
Rugby Union

The 32-year-old Bath lock, Nigel Redman, has been called up for England's tour of Argentina as a replacement for the Newcastle forward Garath Archer, who has a neck injury.

Another possible last-minute candidate for the six-match tour was Leicester's Matt Poole, but he was unable to take any part in yesterday's training session at Bisham Abbey because of a wrist injury.

Redman won the last of his 18 caps against South Africa in Cape Town three years ago and has recently been out of the Bath first team while he concentrated on coaching the forwards. His experience will be crucial in a tour party of 16 uncapped players and he also has the benefit of having toured Argentina with England in 1990.

The England coach, Jack Rowell, said: "Nigel is fit and fresh, and is very positive about making the trip."

Rowell added that he still does not know whether England require his services for the 1999 World Cup. Rowell's contract is up for renewal this August but he has yet to be included in negotiations with the Rugby Football Union about his future.

"In terms of a new contract, I am not anticipating anything," Rowell said.

"Strange things can happen and there are now parallels between rugby union and soccer in that the coaches are under considerable pressure. But I enjoy that pressure and I respond to it. I had it when I was coach at Bath for 17 years so it is something which I feel I am used to."

England are without 18 senior players because of the Lions tour of South Africa, and 16 uncapped players feature in the squad for South America. England have already drafted in the Sale second-rower Dave Baldwin and the Coventry lock Danny Grewcock after injuries forced Martin Bayfield and John Fowler to withdraw.