The thought of a series decider between the British and Irish Lions and the All Blacks was a sweet one whilst it lasted, but it has now been announced that the Barbarians Vs All Blacks fixture is to stay as it was, rather than becoming an ‘unofficial decider’.
This comes after the English Rugby Union stated that they are not willing to release the English portion of the Lions squad for selection. The much desired game would have only been possible if all four home nations gave permission for their men to join the Barbarians for a fourth crack at the world number ones, but this was not to be.
The RFU were quick to push away talks of a fourth game, as a spokesperson told the BBC; “England’s players will be focusing on preparing for England’s matches ahead of the Old Mutual Wealth Series,” where they face the likes of Argentina, Samoa and Australia.
Although the much wanted decider was never really more than a fond idea, it will be good to see what the England will look like when November comes, with both experienced and new faces getting quality experience from the historic tour.
Eddie Jones’ side will be back in action for the Old Mutual Wealth Series on 11th November at Twickenham, as they face The Pumas for the third time this year before going on to face Australia and Samoa.