Furious Woodward claims Henry is 'panicking'

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The Independent Online

The row between Clive Woodward and the British Isles touring party intensified yesterday with the England manager claiming he "will not be a lapdog to the Lions".

Despite continually requesting a reserve list of Lions players, Woodward still has no idea who would be called on should further injuries strike Graham Henry's party.

He was annoyed at the call for vice-captain Martin Corry's immediate release barely 24 hours before Saturday's victory over Canada in Burnaby, claiming the Lions hierarchy were "panicking".

His statement brought an immediate rebuke from the Lions manager, Donal Lenihan, who declared: "Clive has a franchise on panicking."

Woodward, whose reduced playing strength means he can only send a squad of 20 to Los Angeles for tonight's game with the United States second string, quipped: "I am having another panic, so I will phone Donal and ask for either [Austin] Healey or [Jason] Robinson to be sent over here to help out."

More seriously, he added: "This is a very important tour for England. It is my job and I will not be a lapdog to the Lions."

With a long list of injuries Woodward even considered drafting the defensive coach Ellery Hanley on to the bench for the game but the rugby league legend was also forced to rule himself out with a hamstring strain. The kicking coach Paul Grayson was not so lucky.

Recent arrivals Rob Fidler and Nick Walshe are included, while Olly Barkley, who started at No 10 against British Columbia last week before moving to scrum-half at the interval, is named at inside centre.

ENGLAND (v United States A, UCLA, today): T Voyce (Bath); P Sackey (London Irish), F Waters (Wasps), O Barkley (Bath), D Rees (Bristol); A King (Wasps), N Walshe (Saracens); D Flatman (Saracens), M Regan (Bath), R Nebbett (Leicester), R Fidler (Gloucester), T Palmer (Leeds), A Sanderson (Sale, capt), A Hazell (Gloucester), P Sanderson (Harlequins). Replacements: C Fortey (Gloucester), T Woodman (Gloucester), S Thompson (Northampton), M Wood (Wasps), P Grayson (Northampton).

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