Johnson sends four players back to their clubs

England manager Martin Johnson announced on Tuesday that four members of his squad for next month’s internationals were being released back to their clubs for this weekend’s Premiership matches.

Johnson wants Leicester forwards Richard Blaze and Ben Kay to get more game time while England’s 2003 World Cup winning captain believes he has enough cover on the wing and in the back-row to let David Strettle and Steffon Armitage appear for Harlequins and London Irish respectively before the squad reconvenes on November 1.

More players are set to be released by England after Wednesday’s training session as part of an agreement between the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and Premier Rugby designed to give Johnson adequate preparation time with his squad while respecting the interests of clubs.

England, who have seen some two teams worth of players ruled out of next month’s Tests at Twickenham because of injury, begin their international season against Australia on November 7.





















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