London - England have added Bath prop Nathan Catt to their squad for the tour of New Zealand amid injury concerns over fellow front-row forwards Mako Vunipola and Joe Marler,it was announced Tuesday.
Vunipola has a knee injury and his fitness is being assessed ahead of
Saturday's Premiership final between Saracens and Northampton at
Meanwhile Marler has a hip strain.
Catt is now
due to fly out with the initially selected England squad to New Zealand
later Tuesday, with Leicester prop Fraser Balmain taking his place in
the England XV squad that will play the Barbarians at Twickenham on
"In light of Mako Vunipola's ongoing treatment for a knee
injury ahead of the Premiership final and Joe Marler suffering a slight
hip strain we have decided to take Nathan out with us now to ensure that
he is up to speed with our systems and structures in the lead up to
next week," said England coach Stuart Lancaster.
Even if he was
fully fit, Vunipola would have missed England's opening Test of three
against the world champion All Blacks in Auckland on June 7.
is because all players from Saracens and Northampton have been ruled out
of that international as they will have insufficient time to recover
following the Premiership final.
The fact the climax to the
English league season and the first Test effectively 'clash' has led to
criticism of administrators at International Rugby Board, national and
club level, with former England coach Clive Woodward among those arguing
it ought to have been possible to create a schedule that enabled
Lancaster to select his strongest available side for the series opener.
Lancaster is having to leap through logistical hoops when this battle
should have been fought -- and won - a long time ago," Woodward wrote in
his Daily Mail column.
"Do not think for one minute this is just one of those things and won't happen again.
added: "The All Blacks never come cheaply when they visit these shores
and accept only the itinerary that suits them. And I don't blame them.
enough effort really made to get New Zealand to put the Test schedule
back by a week, which would have helped immensely? Were the England
players consulted at all? How much was Lancaster consulted?
win (in New Zealand) you need everyone's noses pointing in the same
direction and the Premiership and the RFU (England's governing Rugby
Football Union) have let down this group of players."
Revised England squads
For New Zealand:
Back threes: Mike Brown (Harlequins), Jonny May (Gloucester), Chris Pennell (Worcester), Marland Yarde (London Irish)
Centres: Kyle Eastmond (Bath), Manu Tuilagi (Leicester), Henry Trinder (Gloucester), Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester)
Flyhalves: Freddie Burns (Gloucester), Danny Cipriani (Sale)
Scrumhalves: Danny Care (Harlequins), Ben Youngs (Leicester)
Back-rows: James Haskell (Wasps), Tom Johnson (Exeter), Matt Kvesic (Gloucester), Ben Morgan (Gloucester), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins)
Locks: Dave Attwood (Bath), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Geoff Parling (Leicester), Ed Slater (Leicester)
Tight-head props: Kieran Brookes (Newcastle), Henry Thomas (Sale), David Wilson (Bath)
Hookers: Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter), Joe Gray (Harlequins), Dave Ward (Harlequins), Rob Webber (Bath)
Loose-head props: Joe Marler (Harlequins), Matt Mullan (Wasps), Nathan Catt (Bath)
Note: A further group will be announced and leave on Monday, June 2 following the English Premiership final between Saracens and Northampton (May 31) and the England XV v Barbarians match (June 1).
England squad to play Barbarians
Back three: Elliot Daly (Wasps), Rob Miller (Sale), Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath), Charlie Sharples (Gloucester)
Centres: Ollie Devoto (Bath), Sam Hill (Exeter), Jonathan Joseph (Bath)
Flyhalf: Henry Slade (Exeter)
Scrumhalves: Dan Robson (Gloucester), Joe Simpson (Wasps)
Dave Ewers (Exeter), James Gaskell (Sale), Jamie Gibson (Leicester), Luke Wallace (Harlequins)
Locks: Graham Kitchener (Leicester), Charlie Matthews (Harlequins), Michael Paterson (Sale)
Tight-head props: Will Collier (Harlequins), Kyle Sinkler (Harlequins)
Hookers: Rob Buchanan (Harlequins), Tommy Taylor (Sale)
Loose-head props: Fraser Balmain (Leicester), Ross Harrison (Sale)