Mike Catt has criticised the timing of England's forthcoming two-Test summer tour to South Africa.
Catt will miss the tour through injury
A depleted England squad is missing up to 40 players because of unavailability due to European finals, and injury.
"Whoever put these fixtures in place needs shooting," Catt, who will miss the tour with an ongoing back problem, told BBC Radio Five Live.
"It's unfair on England building towards the World Cup but we have to deal with it and learn from it."
Catt, who led England in their last two Six Nations matches, was set to captain the tour party before injury intervened.
He admits an under-strength side will face a difficult task against the Springboks, who they also face in their World Cup group in September.
"In 2003 Clive Woodward took a full-strength side to New Zealand and Australia in the summer before the World Cup," Catt noted.
"The team built well together and knew they could beat those sides, but it is different when you aren't at full-strength."