Frustrated head coach Andy Robinson yesterday accused the Rugby Football Union of undermining England's preparations for Saturday's Six Nations Championship clash with Italy.
Robinson might be under orders to watch what he says about referees - but that did not stop him rounding on the RFU for staging both Powergen Cup semi-finals last Sunday.
England had to train yesterday without their four Bath players - Olly Barley, Matt Stevens, Duncan Bell and Steve Borthwick - who have yet to recover from Sunday's gruelling extra-time win over Gloucester at Kingsholm.
Robinson said: "We're preparing an international team and to not have the players we want to have available to train is bitterly frustrating. My thoughts were made known to the RFU when we organised those Sunday games.
"I have played in a couple of Bath-Gloucester derbies and I know how long it takes to recover from those games, especially when they go to extra time. We are asking a lot of our players.
"Because of the intense game last Sunday, we haven't been able to have the Bath players training yet. We very much hope they will train tomorrow but that will be down to the recovery they have."
Robinson was captain in 1992 when Bath reached the Pilkington Cup final with a 27-18 extra-time win over Gloucester.
Stevens, the Bath prop, was still feeling sore as he walked stiffly around England's Surrey base yesterday but hopes to be fit enough to start scrummaging today.
Stevens said: "It would have made a small difference if the semi-finals had been on Saturday.
"A couple of the boys played 110 minutes on Sunday - that is almost a game a half. But I think the coaches have been very professional about it. You have to be pragmatic.
"The guys will still be prepared to play but the only issue is the technical aspects. We may not be on the pitch but we are going through the videos. With such experienced players I am very confident we will be ready."
Robinson has turned his attention solely to Saturday's clash with Italy at Twickenham, where England go in search of their first win of the year.
He said: "I know us losing has hurt the English public but it has hurt us twice as much. We are very passionate about England being successful.
"The other aspect is to build on our performance against Ireland. We need to improve our execution. That is where we need to see a step up in terms of where we are attacking.
"I think our defensive system has been getting back to the highest level but we have to challenge ourselves to do that again. In the last two games we have had field position, which we didn't have against Wales, and now we have got to be tough on ourselves and execute."