LONDON (AP) — British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland may limit the number of England players in his squad to tour Australia, claiming they attract too much media focus and will be targeted because of their unpopularity.
In an interview with the London Evening Standard, Gatland says English players "are not always the most popular with other countries because of the history. People like having a pop at them." Gatland cited England's scandal-filled campaign at the 2011 World Cup as an example of the baggage that comes with picking the country's players.
The New Zealander says "we all know what happened with England at the World Cup and the circus that was created." England tops the Six Nations standings and has worked hard to improve its image under new coach Stuart Lancaster.