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Lancaster confirms foreign player selection policy

England Rugby coach Stuart Lancaster

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Article Published: Thursday 18 October 2012

England Rugby coach Stuart Lancaster has reinforced his selection policy over foreign based players but has not closed the door completely on them being called up for England.

Lancaster explained that it would be difficult for players based in France to be called up for international duty as they are not able to join the squad during the international windows.

"What makes it difficult when a player plays in France is they are not available for our camps when we need them," Lancaster told BBC 5 live Sport.

"We have got a camp coming up at the end of this month (at St George's Park) and we have an agreement with the Premiership clubs to have access to the England players.

"It is not under the IRB release window so we can't get the lads who are in the French clubs.

"Toulon were in the French final the day we played South Africa in the first Test (in June) so it creates problems from that point of view.

"You would never say never but it is always going to be harder for players playing in France."

Lancaster said that everything he currently does is done with building longevity into England Rugby with particular attention being paid to preparing a team that has enough experience and youth to contest the Rugby World Cup.

Forwards coach Graham Rowntree suggested that despite Nick Easter's recent return to form he does not feature in long term England plans due to the wider plan for the Rugby World Cup.

"Nick Easter is playing well," Rowntree said.

"We are well aware of his form but since this coaching crew came together, post the World Cup, we decided to look a bit younger, the likes of Ben Morgan, Thomas Waldrom, Phil Dowson have been playing eight for us.

"We are quite happy with their development because we have to look at the next World Cup. "

"The door is not closed for Nick. He knows that. Age is not so much counting against him but the guys we have got there we are very happy with.

"If there is an injury, Nick knows he is one we will consider."

There has been much talk in the media of a recall for France based flanker Steffon Armitage but Rowntree says he is happy with England captain Chris Robshaw.

"Over the summer tour Chris Robshaw stole more ball than any other seven playing in the summer, including New Zealand and Australia, but he is also a credible lineout threat and a ball-carrier," Rowntree added.

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