• Director of rugby Mark McCall says he has spoken to Gatland
  • ‘I think [our players] will arrive on a Lions tour ready to go’

Warren Gatland has assured Saracens’ potential British & Irish Lions contenders that their selection prospects will not be harmed by a lack of recent top-level club rugby when he finalises his squad for the scheduled Test series against South Africa this summer.

The Saracens director of rugby, Mark McCall, has told Gatland the six England players in the frame for selection, including Maro Itoje and Owen Farrell, have been earmarked to play in four Championship games and, should they qualify, the two-leg play-off final in June before any Lions involvement.

Related: British and Irish Lions consider base in Jersey as contingency plan for tour

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Source: Rugby – The Guardian