Guess Who Just Scuppered The Barbarian/Lions & All Blacks Unofficial 4th Test?
England have ruled out the possibility of releasing their players for the Barbarians’ fixture against New Zealand on November 4. Many have suggested the fixture could be used as an unofficial fourth Test after the Lions and All Blacks drew the series in New Zealand.
Head coach Warren Gatland backed the idea following the 15-15 draw in Auckland on Saturday, but any hope of it happening has now been scuppered.
“England players will be focusing on preparing for our matches ahead of the Old Mutual Wealth Series and will not be released for the Barbarians fixture,” a Rugby Football Union spokesman said.
On Monday, the Barbarians revealed they would be looking to open discussions with the home unions in the hope of securing release for their Lions.
“We are going to assemble an extremely strong team for this historic game at Twickenham,” a Barbarians spokesman said.
“We hope it will include players involved in the exceptional Lions series with the All Blacks. The players will get the chance to face New Zealand for a fourth time this year.
“We have reached an agreement with Premiership Rugby, who have been very supportive about player release. We will talk with the home unions about access to players.”