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England 00:00 New Zealand

Tom Croft will have to wait before discovering his British and Irish Lions fate

By Tony Curtis - Follow me on Twitter @SkysportsTC.   Last Updated: 30/04/13 1:42pm

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Tom Croft and his Leicester colleagues will have wait longer than most to discover whether or not they have made it into the British and Irish Lions squad to tour Australia.

Head coach Warren Gatland has made it clear that the players who will travel Down Under in the summer will only find out at the same time as everyone else.

But while players from across the home unions will be tuning into Sky Sports News for the official announcement at 11am on Tuesday, Croft and Co will be hard at it on the training ground.

Having lost their Aviva Premiership title to Harlequins last season, the Tigers are determined to do everything they can to win in back - even if it means the players missing the unveiling of the Lions squad.

Croft told Sky Sports: "At 11am I will be on the training pitch... the backs might be in, though, as they don't do as much as us!

"For us forwards it is all lineouts, mauls and brawls and scrummaging. It is what it is, though. We will find out soon enough."

Croft, who scored twice in the first Test against South Africa four years ago, has been strongly tippled to be part of Gatland's plans this time around.

Back to full fitness after a serious neck injury, Croft appears to be back to his best form.

Privilege

However Croft insists he is taking little notice of linking him with the squad after being in a similar position ahead of the last tour only to miss out.

The 27-year-old eventually made the flight after Ireland flanker Alan Quinlan was banned for 12 weeks.

"You can't read anything into the reports," said Croft. "Especially after what happened in '09 when I was tipped to be going but then wasn't included in the initial squad. I was lucky that Alan Quinlan got banned so I that I got my chance to go.

"You should never expect to be picked for the Lions, it is a privilege to be part of the squad."

Croft has an added reason not to take his place in the squad for granted, having spent eight months out after breaking a bone in his neck.

The Tigers flanker admits his focus since returning to action has been on making it into England's squad to tour Argentina.

"I am feeling really fresh at the moment," he added.

"Normally at this stage of the season I would be feeling fairly knackered but with the injury I am feeling good.

"Obviously we have the last game of the regular season against London Irish and then a semi-final after that. Hopefully we will then have a final to play for and after that there is a couple of summer tours taking place.

"It has always been about getting fit enough for the summer tour with England first then anything else is a bonus."

Tom Croft is pictured with members of Syston RFC youth team. Tom Croft is powered by the rugby community through SSE Rugby Energy, which helps clubs to get the best deal on their energy bills. Find out  how your club can start benefiting www.SSERugby.com

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