LEICESTER No8 Thomas Waldrom admits he was stunned to receive Martin Johnson’s emergency World Cup call following an injury scare to Nick Easter.
The 28-year-old Tigers star is en route to his native New Zealand to provide cover for Harlequins stalwart Easter, who is struggling with a back injury.
Waldrom arrived at Leicester’s Oval Park but was instead told by Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill to get his things packed because he was heading to Dunedin.
“It was a swell feeling and I had to rush home and tell my wife what was happening,” Waldrom, who only discovered he was qualified to represent England through his grandmother in March, said.
“I am going out as cover so it’s difficult to know what might happen. We will just have to wait and see.”
The 28-year-old has played in all three of Leicester’s Premiership games and scored a try in the opening-day defeat to Exeter Chiefs.
England’s management, meanwhile, have confirmed Easter did not injure his back performing a 134-metre bungee jump.
Easter took the daredevil plunge over the Nevis River in Queenstown last week and there was speculation he may have ricked his back in the process.
But England revealed Easter trained through last week and it was only on Saturday, the day before the lethargic win over Georgia, that he began to feel a tightness developing.
England are also monitoring prop Matt Stevens, who suffered a sprained ankle against Georgia but is said to be improving.
Alex Corbisiero (calf) and Ben Foden (side) are not major injury concerns and Chris Ashton took a full part in training after hurting his elbow in the act of scoring his second try on Sunday.