British and Irish Lions 2013: Chris Robshaw 'unlucky' not to be included in squad says forwards coach Graham Rowntree

Rowntree reveals Robshaw's disappointment at Lions snub

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The Independent Online

Forwards coach Graham Rowntree thinks England captain Chris Robshaw was unlucky not to be called up to British and Irish Lions squad for their tour of Australia.

Rowntree told BBC 5 Live Robshaw was disappointed, but insisted it’s not all doom for the 26-year-old.

“He was upset and quite rightly so, he's been exceptional for England,” said Rowntree.

“There's going to be injuries and Chris will be one of the first names we turn to. He's desperately unlucky.”

2003 World Cup-winner Jonny Wilkinson turned down a place in the 37-man squad due to commitments with his team Toulon. But there remains a glimmer of hope for the Englishman as coach Warren Gatland has only selected two fly-halves, meaning Wilkinson will be on standby in case of any injuries.

“We'll consider that as when we need to with injuries,” added Rowntree.

“People talk about our reserve list but we'll deal with that with each instance, seeing who is available and who is in form around the world.

“It gives us enough time to work out who we want to start in the Test, and give them enough time to work out how to navigate this Lions team around the field.

“We've not left it (Wilkinson's spot) vacant, we think we've got cover there for an emergency 10."

Gatland's selection has been criticised in Australia as being one-dimensional but Rowntree denied that.

“We want a balance of size and power," he said.

“We want to play different games, a power game and quick game. I think the squad represents that nicely.

“You can't put all your eggs in one basket with one style. That's why it was so hard to pick the squad because we've been trying to get the balance right."