Warren Gatland Fires Back At Saracens Boss Mark McCall

“This date has been communicated months and months and months ago.”

Warren Gatland has defended today’s Lions gathering amid complaints from Saracens boss Mark McCall. No fewer than six Saracens players were required to be in attendance this morning, with McCall claiming he has been forced to call off a training session ahead of their most important week of the season.

Saracens will look to defend their Champions Cup in just five days time against Clermont in Edinburgh, with McCall complaining that the timing of the Lions gathering needs to be looked at for future tours. Gatland however says this has been communicated months ago.

“I’ve got to understand where they are coming from, having been involved in the situation, and I understand Mark’s reasoning as well,” Gatland told the Telegraph.
“If it had been last week it would have potentially affected 22 clubs. I understand it’s a massive week for them. But Mondays tend to be a recovery day.
“This date has been communicated months and months and months ago. Now I don’t know when Saracens got the information. But we have told the unions about this date for a long, long time. So we haven’t had any requests from anyone to move this date.

“But I understand the situation, and appreciate the fact that Saracens and Gloucester [preparing for the Challenge Cup final] are releasing their players to us.
“If they hadn’t been released to us that would have been very difficult for a number of reasons. So it does make a difference.”

Gatland also told Sky Sports that it would have  be more disruptive if held last week or even next week, with all the Premiership and PRO12 teams in action this past weekend and the semi-finals taking place in both competitions next weekend.

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