England captain Chris Robshaw has suffered a further blow to his hopes of featuring on the Lions tour to Australia after being omitted from his country's summer trip to Uruguay and Argentina.
Robshaw was controversially left out of Warren Gatland's 37-man squad last week, but the New Zealander paved the way for a potential late-call-up by suggesting that those players featuring in international tours this summer would all be considered as potential replacements in the event of inevitable injury withdrawals.
But Robshaw has been rested by coach Stuart Lancaster, along with Danny Care and Chris Ashton, both of whom would also have had ambitions of joining the Lions, while Tom Wood will captain the party on their three-match tour to South America.
"The key principles in selection were threefold: first and foremost to win the games but also to develop strength in depth and more options in certain positions, and to give one or two players a physical and mental break," Lancaster said.
"Tom Wood will captain the side and I am sure he will do a fantastic job, as he has the respect of all the players and management and we are looking forward to other leaders developing in the absence of some senior players.
"A few are being rested after a hard campaign but they will, of course, be considered by the British & Irish Lions should they be required."
With Harlequins having been knocked out of the Heineken Cup, Robshaw has potentially just two more games to play this season, against Leicester Tigers in the Premiership semi-final before a possible showcase final against Saracens or Northampton Saints, a week before the Lions' opening tour match against the Barbarians.
The 26 year old was overlooked as one of five flankers in the original Lions squad, with captain Sam Warburton, Justin Tipuric, Dan Lydiate, Tom Croft and Sean O'Brien preferred.