June International Tours

Andrew concerned about England injuries



Super rugby Aotearoa : Home | SR Aotearoa Fixtures | Super rugby AU : Home | SR AU Fixtures |


England’s director of elite rugby Rob Andrew has admitted that Riki Flutey’s shoulder injury has brought into sharp focus the problems posed by English stars playing in France.

Flutey, 29, has been ruled out of England’s November international campaign after aggravating a long-standing problem on his debut for French club Brive earlier this month.

The England medical team did not want Flutey to play against Clermont last month but did not ultimately have the jurisdiction to remove him from the game.

When a similar situation occurred in the Premiership last season regarding Paul Sackey, England were able to request the winger did not play for Wasps.

England will continue to consider all France-based players for international selection, even if they do not have a full release agreement written into their club contracts.

But with the 2011 World Cup looming at the end of next season, Andrew is monitoring the situation closely.

“We expressed very clearly our concerns a year ago as to how moving to France would impact on a player’s international selection because we don’t have the same level of control with the players we would want,” Andrew said.

“We are monitoring very closely just what impact this will have over the course of the season because when we come to next year, the last season before the World Cup, we need to be very clear what issues we might have.

“There were a lot of issues around Riki, about whether he should or should not play in the game that led to him having a shoulder injury.

“The reality is that his shoulder would have needed an operation at some point over the next few months.

“There was ongoing dialogue over whether he should play on that particular weekend or whether he should be given another weekend to rehab.

“The medical view was that we would have preferred him not to play that weekend. He wasn’t necessarily being put at risk by playing but our preference was that he should be given another week.”

Jonny Wilkinson has all of the England release clauses written into his contract at Toulon, which gives Martin Johnson and his team the same access as if he were still at Newcastle.

The same is not the case for Flutey, James Haskell or any of the other England players who moved to France last summer.

The RFU are aware they will need to formulate a policy soon because players such as Danny Cipriani, who are out of contract at the end of this season, can start fielding offers from clubs in January.

“We have entered new territory this season and we are only three weeks into it but we are monitoring the situation closely,” Andrew added.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.