Chris Robshaw may be left at home by Lancaster too

 

Chris Robshaw has had his fill of setbacks just lately – a humiliating Grand Slam pratfall with England, a deflating Heineken Cup exit with Harlequins and a soul-destroying failure to make the British and Irish Lions tour party – but the cruel gods of rugby may not have finished with him yet. Many were predicting that Stuart Lancaster, the national coach, would leave the red rose captain out of his squad for next month's two-Test series in Argentina.

Having lost nine of his leading internationals to the Lions, who embark on the glamour trip to Australia later this month, Lancaster was expected to promote a number of uncapped players, including the Wasps wing Christian Wade, the Gloucester back Jonny May, the Saracens centre Joel Tomkins and the Worcester flanker Matt Kvesic.

The burning question surrounded Robshaw, who has been struggling with injury and is overdue quality rest and recuperation, having played more big-time rugby, under greater pressure, than any of his peers.

The Harlequin made clear that he wanted to face the Pumas, adding that he would be speaking to Lancaster on the subject. "It's the boss's call and I'll respect whatever he decides to do," said the game's hardest-working flanker. "But you always want to play for your country, don't you?

"We'll both say our piece and I'll listen to his point of view. Sometimes you get caught up in playing, and it's easier for other people to see the bigger picture. He'll make the call he feels is right for me."

If Robshaw, optimistic of regaining fitness in time for this weekend's Premiership semi-final at Leicester, is wary of being given a break during the June tour window, he has good reason. Another England captain, the Saracens lock Steve Borthwick, was left off the 2010 trip to Wallaby country for "player welfare" reasons… and never played for his country again.

Robshaw freely admitted that he had been hurt by his Lions rejection. "Of course it's tough when you think you're in with a good shout," he said. "I spoke to Graham Rowntree [the England forwards coach, who helped pick the Lions squad] and he said I was close to selection, but that's not really a consolation, is it?

"The great thing was that Graham was very honest with me and didn't try to sugar-coat it. Instead of telling me the odd white lie, he told me the truth. I think that's always best. It's hard to get into the Lions: when you look at the phenomenal competition in the back row, you understand why selection is so special. If you don't quite make it, you have your little sulk and move on."

Another player deeply unfortunate to miss the British Isles cut, the Wales midfielder James Hook, will be part of the Barbarians squad currently being pieced together for the meeting with the Lions in Hong Kong on 1 June.

Lions sorry for animal tweet

The British and Irish Lions have apologised for "any offence caused by recent and inappropriate tweets" on @lionsofficial – which has more than 91,000 followers. Two recent tweets have been removed, including one which featured a photograph of an injured animal. The Lions embark on a tour of Australia this summer.

Arts & Entertainment
A stranger calls: Martin Freeman in ‘Fargo’
tvReview: New 10-part series brims with characters and stories

Arts & Entertainment
Shaun Evans as Endeavour interviews a prisoner as he tries to get to the bottom of a police cover up
Review: Second series comes to close with startling tale of police corruption and child abuse
Sport
Raheem Sterling and Luis Suarez celebrate during Liverpool's game with Norwich
football Another hurdle is out of the way for Brendan Rodgers' side
Arts & Entertainment
Schwarzenegger winning Mr. Universe 1969
arts + entsCan you guess the celebrity from these British Pathe News clips?
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
News
Portrait of Queen Elizabeth-II by David Bailey which has been released to mark her 88th birthday
peoplePortrait released to mark monarch's 88th birthday
Arts & Entertainment
The star of the sitcom ‘Miranda’ is hugely popular with mainstream audiences
TVMiranda Hart lined up for ‘Generation Game’ revival
Life & Style
The writer, Gerda Saunders, with her mother, who also suffered with dementia before her death
healthGerda Saunders on the most formidable effect of her dementia
Sport
Manchester United manager David Moyes looks on during his side's defeat to Everton
footballBaines and Mirallas score against United as Everton keep alive hopes of a top-four finish
Sport
Tour de France 2014Sir Rodney Walker on organising the UK stages of this year’s race
Arts & Entertainment
Jessica Brown Findlay as Mary Yellan in ‘Jamaica Inn’
TVJessica Brown Findlay on playing the spirited heroine of Jamaica Inn
News
YouTube clocks up more than a billion users a month
mediaEuropean rival Dailymotion certainly thinks so
Arts & Entertainment
The original design with Charles' face clearly visible, which is on display around the capital
arts + ents
Arts & Entertainment
‘Self-Portrait Worshipping Christ’ (c943-57) by St Dunstan
books How British artists perfected the art of the self-portrait
News
People
News
Sir Cliff Richard is to release his hundredth album at age 72
PEOPLE
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter: The man who could have been champion of the world - and the Bob Dylan song that immortalised him

The man who could have been champion of the world

Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter and the Bob Dylan song that immortalised him
Didn’t she do well?

Didn’t she do well?

Miranda Hart lined up for ‘Generation Game’ revival
The Middle East we must confront in the future will be a Mafiastan ruled by money

The Middle East we must confront in the future will be a Mafiastan ruled by money

In Iraq, mafiosi already run almost the entire oil output of the south of the country
Before they were famous

Before they were famous

Can you guess the celebrity from these British Pathe News clips?
Martin Freeman’s casting in Fargo is genius

Martin Freeman’s casting in Fargo is a stroke of genius

Series is brimming with characters and stories all its own
How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players