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Lancaster admits Burrell is unlikely to recover for All Blacks

Burrell sustained a head injury against the Ospreys on Saturday. Credit: PA

England head coach Stuart Lancaster has admitted it is unlikely Luther Burrell will be fit for the opening Test of the autumn with New Zealand after the Northampton centre sustained a hand injury.

Burrell, who has seven caps, was withdrawn shortly after half-time of Northampton's European Champions Cup victory over the Ospreys with an injury to his right hand.

Burrell is still to join up with England's squad at Pennyhill Park in Surrey and will see a specialist on Tuesday to discuss a scan, but time is running out for him to face the All Blacks, the reigning world champions, at Twickenham on November 8.

Lancaster doesn't expect Burrell to recover in time to face New Zealand. Credit: PA

"I think it would be tight for New Zealand, if I'm being honest," Lancaster said.

"He's not been in camp this week at all. He's seeing the specialist and it will probably unfold over the weekend.

"He's still in the equation further down the line. He's definitely not out the series. We'll see how he goes.

"If the specialist is positive, then potentially he could come back into camp next week, but he won't have done any of the work.

"It would be a big step to put him in (against New Zealand)."

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Sir Alex Ferguson at Wimbledon to cheer on Murray

Sir Alex Ferguson is set to cheer on fellow Scot Andy Murray at Wimbledon today.

Sir Alex Ferguson with his son Mark, in the royal box on Centre Court. Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

The former Manchester United manager is in the royal box on centre court alongside England football manager Roy Hodgson and England Rugby Union coach Stuart Lancaster.

Ferguson met England manager Roy Hodgson at Wimbledon. Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Murray will face Spain's Fernando Verdasco on centre court after the David Ferrer and Juan Martin del Potro match.

England Rugby Union coach Stuart Lancaster was also in the royal box. Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Stuart Lancaster 'already transforming' English rugby

I am absolutely thrilled for Stuart and we have all been thoroughly impressed by his professional approach, vision and dedication to achieving the best for English rugby from the day he was appointed Interim Head Coach. Stuart is tremendously popular with the players and quickly earned their respect and trust through his honesty, humility and strong work ethic. It is to his and his coaching teams immense credit that they helped to transform the outlook and fortunes of the England squad and have instilled such a strong confidence and culture within the squad in such a short space of time.

– Damian Hopley, Rugby Players' Association

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Stuart Lancaster the 'right person' to lead England

We have been through a rigorous and global selection process and are confident that Stuart is the right person to lead England Rugby forward into the 2015 Rugby World Cup. He has shown throughout the RBS 6 Nations and subsequently in both interview and other conversations I, as chairman of the advisory panel, have had with him that he has the skills and vision needed in the England head coach.

– Ian Ritchie, RFU Chief Executive

Lancaster: 'Ultimate aim' is winning the World Cup

The players, coaches and the management were superb during the tournament and it’s down to them that we made such positive steps from when we first met up in Leeds.

The challenge now is to take this squad and the players we will see emerge forward to 2015. It is one that I can’t wait to get stuck into.

We have a massive task ahead of us in South Africa this summer and we have 37 games before that first World Cup match on home soil, so every second counts in developing players who can win that tournament – which has to be the ultimate aim.

– STUART LANCASTER, ENGLAND RUGBY HEAD COACH
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