England head coach Eddie Jones fears some Saracens players could skip the Six Nations campaign to help their club avoid relegation after a 35-point deduction for salary cap breaches.
The deduction leaves the Premiership champions bottom of the table. They have also been fined £5.36m.
Sarries supplied six of the team who started for England in the 32-12 defeat by South Africa in the World Cup final.
“It could have a significant impact,” Jones told BBC Sport.
“It’s something we need to weigh up and look at very carefully.”
Saracens have decided not to appeal against the punishments imposed upon them for infringements over the past three seasons so go from third place to bottom of the Premiership on -22 points, 26 behind second-bottom Leicester.
Jones selected six of their players for the final in Yokohama, led by captain Owen Farrell. The others were Mako and Billy Vunipola, hooker Jamie George, second row Maro Itoje and full-back Elliott Daly, who is yet to play for the club after his summer move from Wasps.
“Obviously there may be some dislocation between Saracens players and the rest of the clubs,” said Jones, who was Saracens’ director of rugby in 2008-09. “That’s a reality.
“So we may have to work to mend those relationships a bit harder, and there might be some Saracens players who feel like they’ve got to play for their club instead of their country, to make sure they don’t go down. So we’ll weigh all those up as they come about.”
Former Sarries and England scrum-half Kyran Bracken believed Jones was correct to be concerned.
“Country comes first traditionally, but the players will feel a sense of loyalty to the club having won so much with them,” the 47-year-old told the BBC News Channel.
“The thought of potentially leaving comrades in the lurch and leaving young guys to it… some will decide to concentrate on Saracens.”
‘I didn’t realise how strong the class structure was’
Ensuring any issues between Saracens players and the rest of the squad do not do any damage is the latest challenge Jones must face as England coach.
Earlier he told BBC Radio 5 Live that the biggest hurdle he faced when he first took the job in January 2016 was getting to grips with the cultural differences within the group.
“I didn’t realise the how strong the class structure was in England, and how that affects the relationships between the players,” the Australian said.
“When you look at the England team from the outside it looks like a very homogeneous group but in fact it’s very diverse and there probably hasn’t been enough understanding of the diversity of the group.
“We spent a lot of time in our World Cup prep making sure we understood the value of diversity.”
A report this year revealed that 37% of male British rugby union internationals came from fee-paying schools.
Jones, who hails from a working class suburb of Sydney, was asked whether the difference came down to the stereotypical rugby divide of “posh public schoolboys and state school kids”.
“Something like that, yeah,” he said.
“If you’ve got a group of people in here now and you’ve got five Japanese people, five Australians and five South Africans, they’ll tend to congregate together and that’s OK if they’re not playing as a team.
“But if those 15 are playing as a team then you want that to be completely mixed, and they’re the subtle things I was reasonably slow to pick up on.”
|Specsavers County Championship Division One, Edgbaston (day one):|
|Warwickshire 275-8: Norwell 58*, Hain 47; Dunn 3-59|
|Surrey: Yet to bat|
|Warwickshire (2 pts), Surrey (2 pts)|
Warwickshire fast bowlers Liam Norwell and Henry Brookes transformed the first day at Edgbaston as they shared an unbroken ninth-wicket stand of 89 to stun reigning county champions Surrey.
After slumping to 186-8 despite gritty knocks from Sam Hain (47), Will Rhodes (39) and Adam Hose (38), the Bears were set to go without batting points again.
Instead, Norwell slammed 58 and Brookes made 35 as Surrey’s attack wilted.
The pair both belted some fine shots to reach the close unparted on 275-8.
That earned two batting points, plus the prospect of a potential third in the morning, which would double the Bears’ previous haul for the season.
Prior to that, on a weather-affected day which brought two separate short breaks in play, injury-hit Surrey’s bowlers had dominated, including three victims for recalled fast bowler Matt Dunn.
After being put in to bat, a painstaking first half-century stand of the season for Bears openers Dom Sibley and Rhodes was ended by veteran spinner Gareth Batty, who removed both in successive overs just before lunch.
But after Dunn had seemingly put Surrey right in control, Norwell, on his home debut, and Brookes transformed the contest in the final hour.
They started to go for their shots when Dean Elgar came on for an over of spin just before the new ball was due – and 17 came from it, capped by two sixes in three balls from Brookes.
But they then kept up the attack, twice taking 16 off an over from South Africa paceman Morne Morkel, thanks to seven boundaries off in the space of 11 deliveries off him from the free-spirited Norwell.
Warwickshire all-rounder Liam Norwell told BBC WM:
“Henry and I are both naturally quite attacking players so we just played out natural game and played our shots and luckily it came off.
“It was a mixture of good shots and a bit of luck. I rode my luck at times but it was just good to be out in the middle with Henry. He is a lot of fun to bat with.
“The lads up top did the hard graft. Now we are in a pretty strong position and we have just got to focus in the morning and try to get up to 300 for that third batting point.”
Surrey fast bowler Matt Dunn told BBC Radio London:
“All day, the bowlers worked so hard together. We knew it was going to be tough but everyone bowled in partnerships and bowled for each other.
“It was a shame that it just got away from us a little bit at the end because we were in a great position but I think we would have taken this at the start of the day.
“It is great to be back in the team. I am so proud to wear the Surrey badge. It is everything to me. It is nice to get out there again and perform.”