England tour of New Zealand: Mike Catt admits England coaching staff have selection dilemma

England will be reinforced this weekend by the return of the Northampton and Saracens players but their promising showing in the first Test defeat has left more questions than answer

Mike Catt admits England's coaching team face the toughest of selection meetings as they finalise plans for the second Test against New Zealand.

With so many players making compelling cases for their retention in Saturday's agonising 20-15 loss at Eden Park, myriad permutations have opened up as the Aviva Premiership finalists come into contention for the first time.

The identity of England's hooker, lock, blindside flanker, scrum-half, wing and inside centre will be causing Stuart Lancaster and his coaching lieutenants headaches.

The team is announced on Wednesday night, leaving just two training sessions to reach a verdict.

"We performed particularly well on the weekend. It will be a tough selection because a lot of them performed admirably," attacking skills coach Catt said.

"Some people will be very happy and some won't because we have competition in all these positions now.

 

"What you don't want to do is give the jersey up. That drives you even further and motivates you even more.

"I remember when I used to compete with Will Greenwood. If I lost my spot or performed badly, I'd have to wait six months before I got another opportunity.

"That's the beauty of this England team at the moment. It's starting to have that level of competition for places, so no one wants to give up their shirts.

Get Adobe Flash player

"By the end of the tour we'll have a clear idea of the people who can and can't perform at international level."

One option being considered is shifting Manu Tuilagi to the wing to accommodate the availability of Luther Burrell and Billy Twelvetrees.

Stand-ins stand out - Lancaster must make tough calls

Tuilagi has never played out wide for England and only rarely for Leicester, but it was a position he filled as a junior.

"It's about whatever's best for the team. It's not about development, it's about this weekend," Catt said.

"If it's right to put Manu on the wing, we'll put him on the wing.

"We've got a couple of training sessions over the next couple of days to make a decision.

"Nothing is set in stone and there are a lot of permutations.

"Manu was extremely good at attacking at the weekend. He was a massive attacking threat and you need that against a top All Blacks side."

England have announced that Exeter hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie is to return home for further assessment on a knee injury after jarring the joint in training.

"It's unfortunate for Luke. He has been great over the last three weeks and I am sure he will have benefited from being involved in this environment," England head coach Stuart Lancaster said.

Cowan-Dickie was never in contention to play in the Test series against the All Blacks, but could have figured in the midweek game against the Crusaders.

News
Michael Buerk in the I'm A Celebrity jungle 2014
people
Arts and Entertainment
Avatar grossed $2.8bn at the box office after its release in 2009
filmJames Cameron is excited
Voices
File: David Cameron offers a toast during a State Dinner in his honour March 14, 2012
voicesAnd nobody from Ukip said babies born to migrants should be classed as migrants, says Nigel Farage
News
Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.
peopleThe idea has been greeted enthusiastically by the party's MPs
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Stik on the crane as he completed the mural
art
News
Happy in his hat: Pharrell Williams
people
Arts and Entertainment
Stella Gibson is getting closer to catching her killer
tvReview: It's gripping edge-of-the-seat drama, so a curveball can be forgiven at such a late stage
News
Brazilian football legend Pele pictured in 2011
peopleFans had feared the worst when it was announced the Brazil legand was in a 'special care' unit
News
i100(More than you think)
Sport
Brendan Rodgers seems more stressed than ever before as Liverpool manager
FOOTBALLI like Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
News
The number of GP practices with 10 or more doctors has grown by 75 per cent
science
News
Phyllis Dorothy James on stage during a reading of her book 'Death Comes to Pemberley' last year
peopleJohn Walsh pays tribute to PD James, who died today
Sport
Benjamin Stambouli celebrates his goal for Tottenham last night
FOOTBALL
Life and Style
Dishing it out: the head chef in ‘Ratatouille’
food + drinkShould UK restaurants follow suit?
News
peopleExclusive: Maryum and Hana Ali share their stories of the family man behind the boxing gloves
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game