Woodward: Back still has key role

Sir Clive Woodward insists Neil Back still has an integral part to play in the British & Irish Lions tour to New Zealand despite being handed a four-week suspension. [more]

Lions Australia Tour 2013

Sir Clive Woodward insists Neil Back still has an integral part to play in the British & Irish Lions tour to New Zealand despite being handed a four-week suspension.

Back pleaded guilty to striking Joe Worsley in last weekend’s Zurich Premiership Grand Final, and will now not be available for the first three matches of the New Zealand tour, leaving him little time to state his case for Test selection.

The earliest Back can play is against Wellington on June 15, just 10 days before the Lions’ first Test against the All Blacks in Christchurch.

But Woodward gave the retiring Leicester flanker a huge vote of confidence, saying: "Everyone involved in the Lions tour of New Zealand recognises the very special qualities Neil Back brings to the game and he will have a crucial role to play on the tour."

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