13 Feb 2013

Too many Englishman in Lions may cause problems: Gats

11:26 am on 13 February 2013

The British and Irish Lions rugby coach Warren Gatland believes picking too many English players for this year's Australia tour could cause problems because of the extra media focus and their unpopularity among other nations.

The New Zealander, who won the Six Nations grand slam with Wales last year, takes charge of the combined side for the first time for the three-test tour and has been impressed by England in their last three matches.

Gatland says if England do well in the Six Nations - and they've won their first two matches - then they can expect a reasonable contingent in the Lions squad.

However he says that brings other pressures, especially in the media.

Gatland says English players are not always the most popular with other countries because of the history and people like having a pop at them.

England lost to France in the 2011 World Cup quarter-finals after a tournament marred by tabloid stories of drinking, partying and dwarf-throwing, while centre Manu Tuilagi jumped off a ferry as a joke.