Burrell unlikely to face All Blacks

Date published: October 28 2014

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Northampton Saints centre Luther Burrell is unlikely to play for England against New Zealand at Twickenham on November 8.

Northampton Saints centre Luther Burrell is unlikely to play for England against New Zealand at Twickenham on November 8.

That was the word from England head coach Stuart Lancaster, who admitted that time is running out for Burrell – who sustained a hand injury in Northampton’s European Champions Cup victory over the Ospreys – to be considered for selection against the world champions.

“I think it would be tight for New Zealand, if I’m being honest,” said Lancaster.

“He’s not been in camp this week at all. He’s seeing the specialist and it will probably unfold over the weekend.

“He’s still in the equation further down the line. He’s definitely not out the series. We’ll see how he goes.

“If the specialist is positive, then potentially he could come back into camp next week, but he won’t have done any of the work.

“It would be a big step to put him in (against New Zealand).”

Burrell, who has represented England in seven Tests, is Lancaster’s biggest fitness worry.

The England squad gathered on Monday, with Saracens number eight Billy Vunipola (concussion), Harlequins prop Joe Marler (quad) Bath centre Kyle Eastmond (rib) and Harlequins wing Marland Yarde (ankle) also missing training.

Wasps loose forward James Haskell (virus) and Bath prop David Wilson (calf) are in light training.

But Lancaster remains optimistic that all his injured players will recover to be in contention for selection, especially as they will have this coming weekend off.

“It’s always a tough start to the season for players, particularly when they go six rounds of the Premiership and then two rounds of Europe,” Lancaster added.

“Often this camp for us is just about getting everyone together again but also it allows them to have a weekend off this weekend.

“The extra weekend will give us the time that we need and I’m sure the players will be ready for next week.”

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