British & Irish Lions qualified players playing in the Top 14 in France may miss out on Lions selection due to the fixture clash between the Top 14 final and the British & Irish Lions opening fixture against the Barbarians in Hong Kong.
Speaking at his unveiling as head coach of the British & Irish Lions for the tour to Australia in 2013, Warren Gatland suggested that some french based players may miss out on selection for the tour if they cant make themselves available for the early training and binding sessions and the opening fixture of the tour.
The Top 14 final is scheduled for 1st June which is the same day as the Lions play their Hong Kong fixture. There are Lions qualified players playing in france and could potentially play in that final. The clash would affect players including Gethin Jenkins, Andrew Sheridan and Johnny Wilkinson to name just a few.
Gatland said “I’m actually going down to France tomorrow to talk to some players who are down there and watch Perpignan and Bayonne, so it’s a chance to meet with some of the coaches down there and talk about potential release of those players for the Lions.”
“It’s something that as a management board and as a coaching staff we are going to have to discuss because the preparation is so tight. And if it means that some players aren’t available to get on the plane then that may potentially rule them out.”