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The British & Irish Lions


Robshaw unlucky - Rowntree

01st May 2013 15:04


SKY_MOBILE Robshaw Chris England

Chris Robshaw: Could join tour as injury cover

British and Irish Lions forwards coach Graham Rowntree believes England captain Chris Robshaw was unlucky not to be selected for the tour to Australia.

Rowntree said Robshaw is disappointed with his omission but revealed that the Harlequins stalwart will be one of the first to be called up in the event of injury.

"He was upset and quite rightly so, he's been exceptional for England," Rowntree told the BBC.

"There's going to be injuries and Chris will be one of the first names we turn to. He's desperately unlucky."

Former England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson may also get a call-up as an injury replacement.

The 2003 World Cup winner has a glimmer of hope of making the tour - once he has finished his commitments with Toulon - as Lions boss Warren Gatland has only selected Ireland's Jonny Sexton and England's Owen Farrell as his fly-halves in the 37-man squad.

"We'll consider that as when we need to with injuries," added Rowntree.

"People talk about our reserve list but we'll deal with that with each instance, seeing who is available and who is in form around the world.

"It gives us enough time to work out who we want to start in the Test, and give them enough time to work out how to navigate this Lions team around the field.

"We've not left it (Wilkinson's spot) vacant, we think we've got cover there for an emergency 10."

Gatland's has been criticised in Australia for selecting a one-dimensional squad but Rowntree disagrees with that.

"We want a balance of size and power," he said.

"We want to play different games, a power game and quick game. I think the squad represents that nicely.

"You can't put all your eggs in one basket with one style. That's why it was so hard to pick the squad because we've been trying to get the balance right."