Johnson calls up trio for England cover

ENGLAND manager Martin Johnson has called up three players, Anthony Allen, James Simpson-Daniel and Chris Robshaw, as injury cover ahead of Saturday’s showdown with South Africa at Twickenham.

Allen and Simpson-Daniel replace the Wasps centres Riki Flutey and Dominic Waldouck, who have been sent back to their club.

Harlequins flanker Robshaw, meanwhile, has been called up as cover for a third Wasps man, Joe Worsley, who has a cheek injury.

Meanwhile, Johnson’s charges will play Wales and Ireland in three warm-up games ahead of next year’s World Cup in New Zealand.

Johnson’s side will host Wales at Twickenham on 6 August before heading to Cardiff for a return match one week later.

On 27 August, England take on Ireland in Dublin before departing to New Zealand the following week.

Johnson said: “These three games are an important element in our build-up to the World Cup.”

Saturday’s opponents, South Africa, meanwhile, could be without their totemic prop Tendai Mtawarira. The man affectionately known as ‘The Beast’ missed yesterday’s training session with the medial knee ligament injury he picked up in Saturday’s surprise 21-17 defeat against Scotland at Murrayfield.

Should the Sharks loosehead miss out, CJ van der Linde is likely to be the man to deputise, and scrum coach Os du Randt believes the Springboks have the strength to cope with any front-row injury problems.

“CJ van der Linde covers both prop positions and we have Coenie Oosthuizen who has been making his way as a loosehead,” said Du Randt.