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Rob Baxter and Toby Booth could be called up by England

Stuart LancasterRob Baxter and Toby Booth could be helping England in the summer if Stuart Lancaster gets his way.

The England head coach will go to the Professional Game Board (PGB) on Thursday  to get permission to take two coaches from the Premiership with him to Argentina this summer.

Lancaster needs to find like-for-like replacements for the Barbarians game on May 26 and the two-Test tour to South America that follows because his current forwards coach Graham Rowntree and defence specialist Andy Farrell will be on Lions duty in Australia at that time.

If given the green light by the PGB, Lancaster will spend the Six Nations assessing his options with a final decision on the make-up of his new-look temporary team due to be made by the end of the tournament in mid-March.

As the Baa-baas fixture comes 24 hours after the Premiership final, Lancaster confirmed it is unlikely that any coaches involved with English club rugby’s showpiece occasion will be considered.

Rob Baxter

Rob Baxter

“I’m going to the PGB  to ask them if it’s okay to use potential coaches from the Premiership,” Lancaster told The Rugby Paper, while attending the official opening of a new state-of-the-art gym at Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate Foundation, North Yorkshire.

“I think it is a positive thing that Andy and Graham are going on the Lions tour and I think it is a positive thing I can bring other coaches in to work with the players to gain experience of building those club/country relationships.

“I need people who, ideally, are available for the Barbarians week. The Premiership final is that week so that makes it difficult, but we will have to see.”

This could rule out the likes of well-respected Saracens duo,  Alex Sanderson and Paul Gustard, who have recently signed new deals at their club and were former colleagues of Andy Farrell at club level.

The 2011 champions look on course to make the end-of-season play-offs, as do reigning title holders Harlequins and Leicester with Northampton, Gloucester and Wasps favourites to fight it out for the fourth berth.

While Lancaster remains guarded about who is on his radar Exeter Chiefs boss Baxter and Bath’s Booth appear to be in with a good shout of looking after the forwards.

Toby Booth

Toby Booth

Baxter’s selection would be another feather in the cap for the Chiefs whose players, Tom Johnson aside, were overlooked when Lancaster named his revised Elite Player Squad on Wednesday.

Booth’s background, meanwhile, is similar to Lancaster in that he made his name at academy level before progressing onto director of rugby status at London Irish.

The defence coach appointment is less clear-cut as there are only a limited number of full-time specialists working in this area in the Premiership.

Again, discounting the likely top four, Bath’s disaffected Australian-born coach Brad Davis, who is English-qualified on residential grounds and would be available, could come under consideration.

“There are lots of good English coaches coaching in the Premiership who I think would be excited about the opportunity,” Lancaster said.

“We’ll take a four or five man coaching team, and we’ll be taking a midweek team to Argentina, too, so it won’t be too dissimilar to what we did in South Africa.

“It is a great opportunity for the coaches concerned and I obviously need to make sure I get the right fit that replicates the strengths of Andy and Graham.”

JON NEWCOMBE

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