Wilkinson worry for England
October 25, 2010
Brad Barritt, who appeared for England against the New Zealand Maori in the summer, has been called up as cover for Riki Flutey © Getty Images
Jonny Wilkinson has handed England an injury scare on the first day of their pre-autumn international training camp.
The Toulon fly-half is expected to undergo a scan tomorrow morning after reporting to England's Pennyhill Park base complaining of a sore left shoulder. Wilkinson is one of five England players struggling with injury less than a fortnight before Martin Johnson's men tackle New Zealand at Twickenham on November 6.
Wasps' Riki Flutey (calf) and Simon Shaw (calf), Leeds flanker Hendre Fourie (bruised rib) and Bath prop David Wilson (sore back) are all struggling to recover from injury with less than two weeks before England's first game of the season at Twickenham. And so Johnson has acted by summoning Sale fly-half Charlie Hodgson, Saracens centre Brad Barritt, Harlequins prop Joe Marler, Northampton flanker Tom Wood and Wasps forward Dan Ward-Smith.
Flutey, Shaw, Fourie and Wilson will all remain with the squad to be treated by the England medical team. The enitre squad reported for a training camp on Monday morning in preparation for the autumn internationals.
Wilkinson started the season in prime form for Toulon and is pushing for a return to the England starting XV after losing his place to Toby Flood during last season's Six Nations. Flood has only just returned from a knee ligament injury and England will announce tomorrow whether or not they will release the Leicester fly-half to play against Gloucester at the weekend. If Wilkinson's injury proves serious, England may decide they cannot risk Flood playing in the Aviva Premiership a week before tackling the All Blacks.
Flutey injured his calf injury in Wasps's 37-10 Aviva Premiership defeat by Northampton on Sunday. The 30-year-old, who had to be helped from the field in the 31st minute of the game, was a near certainty to start at inside centre for England.
But his potential absence could open the door to Barritt, who appeared for England against the New Zealand Maori during the summer after impressing with the Saxons squad in the Churchill Cup. The 24-year-old's early season performances have been solid for Saracens and with Bath's Olly Barkley currently out of favour with the English management, he was next in line for elevation to the squad.
Shaw withdrew from Wasps' hiding at Adams Park because of an injury sustained in training, which has created an opportunity for team-mate Ward-Smith, who has appeared at lock for Wasps this season as well as his more familiar position of No.8.
Fourie failed to return for the second half of Leeds' 6-3 defeat to Sale at the weekend after suffering a rib injury. The South Africa-born flanker previously missed out on a possible debut on the summer tour to Australia due to a calf injury and this time Northampton flanker Wood could be the one to benefit.
The youngest of the additions to the squad was rookie Quins prop Marler. The 20-year-old has played linked up with the squad at Pennyhill Park to deputise for Bath tight-head Wilson, who has a sore back.
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