RFU fails to move back first Test against All Blacks
April 6, 2014
England faced New Zealand back in November but lost © Getty Images
The Rugby Football Union's attempts to shift England's opening Test against New Zealand back a week have failed.
England's first game of their three-Test series against the All Blacks in June comes just a week after the Aviva Premiership final. England coach Stuart Lancaster has already said those players taking part in the match at Twickenham on May 31 will not be eligible for the game against New Zealand in Auckland on June 7.
Reports in The Rugby Paper say Bill Beaumont, the RFU chairman, attempted to move the game back a week but due to a difference of opinion over when the June Test window starts, his attempt was unsuccessful.
He told the newspaper: "We made a request to the IRB because they interpreted the week of May 31-June 1 as a June weekend, and we maintain it is a May weekend. We've tried for some time now to get it changed, but to no avail."
The IRB has since responded: "When the Test schedule was agreed in 2010 the RFU was going through administrative changes. At that time they were asked to respond to the schedule, and that did not happen, so the schedule was drawn up as is."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
It was another bumper year of rugby action in 2014; join us as we take a look back at some of the season's top statistics
Salary caps, Saints, sinners and scrums - Monday Maul looks back at the key talking points from an eventful weekend
The latest Week in Pictures takes in a fiery East Midlands derby and all the action from the Aviva Premiership and Top 14