Planet Rugby

The British & Irish Lions


Toulon stars given Lions hope

01st November 2012 10:49


Gethin Jenkins Toulon v Cardiff Blues Heineken Cup Pool Six Cardiff Arms Park

Still in the mix: Gethin Jenkins

Warren Gatland has said he will consider the inclusion of French-based players for the Lions tour to Australia.

Gatland had previously questioned whether French-based players would be selected due to a clash between the Lions' first fixture against the Barbarians in Hong Kong and the Top 14 Final.

However Gatland has now stated that he will keep an open mind when it comes the availability of players such as Steffon Armitage, Gethin Jenkins and Jonny Wilkinson.

"There are a number of players in Toulon who are playing well and putting their hands up," said Gatland told The Daily Telegraph.

"I have said all along that my preference is to have everyone on the plane going together.

"When you have got the Premiership and Pro 12 final basically the day before we fly out, there is a potential that the first time the squad will be together is on the squad for our farewell dinner.

"That makes it difficult for preparation point of view and if you are going to potentially add some French players the week after that, it is not ideal. But that said, you have to be a little bit flexible, depending on injuries and form."

"I am not going to back myself into a corner and say 'this is my 100 per cent policy'."