WASPS centre Riki Flutey is set to be the most high-profile casualty when England manager Martin Johnson whittles his World Cup squad down to a final 30 today.
Flutey is the victim of the injury to scrum-half Danny Care, which will see Johnson take Wasps’ uncapped Joe Simpson and Saracens’ Richard Wigglesworth as back-up No9s.
It means England will go with just three dedicated centres, including the much-criticised Shontayne Hape of London Irish. Bath wing Matt Banahan has also been deployed there, while Toby Flood or Jonny Wilkinson may be switched from fly-half. Captain Lewis Moody has been passed fit so there is no room for Sale’s Hendre Fourie, but 38-year-old lock Simon Shaw is included.
LIKELY ENGLAND SQUAD | WORLD CUP
D Cole, A Corbisiero, A Sheridan, M Stevens, D Wilson; D Hartley, L Mears, S Thompson, L Deacon, C Lawes, T Palmer, S Shaw, T Croft, N Easter, J Haskell, L Moody, T Wood, B Youngs, J Simpson, R Wigglesworth, T Flood, J Wilkinson, S Hape, M Tindall, M Tuilagi, C Ashton, M Banahan, M Cueto; D Armitage, B Foden