Andy Robinson has insisted he never considered dropping those England 'rebels' who broke the Rugby Football Union's 11-week recuperation rule.

Head coach Robinson was a firm that believer all the England internationals who toured New Zealand with the British Lions this summer must be afforded a full break before returning to club action.

The RFU maintain an agreement was in place to ensure that happened. The clubs disagree, leading to eight members of the original elite England squad playing before their 11 weeks were up.

Six of those players were yesterday named in the England squad to face Australia, New Zealand and Samoa - captain Martin Corry, Charlie Hodgson, Mark Cueto, Andrew Sheridan, Matt Dawson and Simon Shaw.

The RFU has already withheld #120,000 of Lions compensation cash from the three clubs in question - Sale, Leicester and Wasps - but Robinson was not interested in meting out his own disciplinary procedures.

"I have been looking at the players in terms of their ability to play for England and that is what my criteria is, building towards the games against Australia, New Zealand and Samoa," said Robinson.

Premier Rugby, the Guinness Premiership clubs' umbrella body, has threatened to start legal proceedings against the RFU by Monday to recover the owed money unless a breakthrough in the stand-off can be found.

Lawyers for both the RFU and Premier Rugby maintain their separate interpretations of the 11-week agreement are accurate.

But Robinson said: "The pleasing thing is that the RFU and PRL are talking and discussions are on-going.

"The toys haven't been thrown out of the cot at the moment and discussions are taking place round the table with the right people in the room. It's important that continues."

The RFU would ideally like the players to have an even longer break - up to 14 weeks - and top of their wish-list is the eventual introduction of central contracts.

Robinson said: "There are on-going discussions and my views on that will be involved in those discussions. Hopefully, we can get to a solution that works for both club and country. That is what we are looking to achieve - a situation where a player is able to perform to his best for his club and then at his best for his country."

The key issue, whether it is rest periods or central contracts, remains the individual management of the elite squad. RFU chiefs would concede on the issue of central contracts providing they can secure block release for the England squad from club duty during the autumn international period and for two months over the Six Nations.

The current struggle may be heading for the courts but Robinson maintains progress on the ground is being made with regards to individual player management.

"I have met with a number of the directors of rugby and we are meeting and discussing things with the players," he said.

"The good thing is that whilst Martin Corry broke that 11-week rule, he didn't play last weekend and he isn't playing this weekend, so he is being rested now and well managed by Leicester.

" I would have been delighted if he had had that 11-week period, but it is about managing the players and developing that relationship with the directors of rugby is an ongoing process.