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Number of Lions could return to Prem action this weekend

By PA

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Some British and Irish Lions players who were part of the South Africa tour could feature in this weekend’s Gallagher Premiership action.

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Bristol rugby director Pat Lam, who might soon have England prop Kyle Sinckler available, said Lions players wanted to “to get back playing, across the board”.

A 10-week rest period has been in place for England’s Lions that expires in mid-October.

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Some of England’s Elite Player Squad members, though, took no part in the Test series against South Africa that ended on August 7 and started a fortnight earlier.

It is understood that Premiership clubs must apply to a Professional Game Board sub-committee – the Player Performance Management Group – that was established three years ago and has to agree any variation to individual player release.

In terms of England squad players, that application must contain supporting evidence from the player, club rugby director and England head coach Eddie Jones.

Bristol, beaten in their opening two league games and currently propping up the Premiership table, tackle west country rivals Bath at Ashton Gate on Friday.

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Lam said: “The Lions players have requested themselves. They want to get back playing, across the board. It’s all driven by each player – each player makes that decision themselves.

“What we will never do is tell a player he has got to come back and play. It’s up to that player.

“Kyle is one of them who has requested he wants to play, and then it goes to the RFU (Rugby Football Union) and then ourselves.

“A lot of them (Lions players) are back training, and probably like me, they hate training if they are not playing.

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“Again, you have to sign it off with the players’ association, because it’s their union, and the one thing I would never do is force anyone to play any rugby if he doesn’t want to play or he needs to rest. There is a lot that goes into that.”

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Number of Lions could return to Prem action this weekend

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