Kruis still has Lions chance says Sara­cens boss

New Straits Times - - Sport -

LON­DON: Eng­land lock Ge­orge Kruis still has a chance to gain se­lec­tion for the Bri­tish and Ir­ish Lions tour of New Zealand de­spite miss­ing most of the sea­son through in­jury, ac­cord­ing to his boss at Sara­cens.

The sec­ond row missed the whole of Eng­land’s suc­cess­ful Six Na­tions ti­tle de­fence with a knee prob­lem and Sara­cens, the English and Euro­pean cham­pi­ons, don’t ex­pect him back in ac­tion un­til their April 16 clash against Northamp­ton in the Premier­ship.

That match takes place just three days be­fore Lions coach War­ren Gat­land is due to name his squad for the three-Test se­ries against world cham­pi­ons New Zealand. But Sara­cens boss Mark McCall thinks Kruis’s p rove n line-out skills could yet see him book a tour spot if he can re-as­sure Gat­land over his fit­ness.

Should that be the case, the Lions could yet ben­e­fit from hav­ing a set­piece ex­pert who would be men­tally and phys­i­cally fresh, in pos­si­ble con­trast to those who’d been through the rigours of a full sea­son, ahead of a gru­elling se­ries against the All Blacks.

“Ge­orge could be back to­wards the end of April, that’s the best guess, but it could be sooner than that,” Sara­cens coach Mark McCall said on Tues­day ahead of the Lon­don club’s Euro­pean Cham­pi­ons Cup quar­ter-fi­nal at home to Glas­gow this week­end.

“I think Ge­orge has a chance of mak­ing the Lions tour be­cause he’s a line-out caller and is prob­a­bly the best line-out caller around.

“That’s a real string to his bow. He’s also a great player, so I think he’s got a chance.” AFP

Ge­orge Kruis

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