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Lancaster: No contact with Farrell

England head coach Stuart Lancaster insists he has not been in contact with Andy Farrell and will not be making any changes to his coaching team for the current tour to South Africa.

Saracens announced on Friday morning that Farrell had stepped down from his position as first-team coach with the Aviva Premiership club and speculation immediately linked the 37-year-old with a possible return to the England set-up.

The former rugby league and rugby union England international was part of Lancaster's coaching team during this season's RBS 6 Nations Championship, but he opted to remain with Saracens after the tournament.

Lancaster had hoped to retain Farrell's services, but a deal could not be agreed and the Rugby Football Union turned to Mike Catt for the South Africa trip.

Speaking at a press conference in Durban, Lancaster played down suggestions that Farrell could be involved again in the immediate future.

The Rugby Football Union said via Twitter: "Lancaster confirms he has not spoken to Andy Farrell and there will no changes to his coaching set-up for South Africa tour."

England arrived in South Africa on Thursday for a three-Test tour highlighted by games against the Springboks in Durban, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth.

Lancaster has been forced to make an early change to his squad though with Wasps lock Joe Launchbury being ruled out of the tour with a knee injury.

London Irish forward Jamie Gibson been called up as his replacement


From Belfast Telegraph