Marler set to miss Springboks clash
November 19, 2012
Joe Marler's trademark mohican is set to be missing at Twickenham on Saturday © PA Photos
England prop Joe Marler looks set to miss Saturday's clash South Africa after suffering a knee ligament injury in last weekend's defeat to Australia.
The Harlequins loose-head picked up a grade one medial collateral ligament tear during his side's 20-14 defeat at Twickenham and is unlikely to be available for the clash with the Springboks. London Irish's Alex Corbisiero is in line to replace him in the starting line-up having completed his comeback from his own knee injury.
The enforced switch is likely to be one of several changes Lancaster makes in the wake of his side's disappointing showing against the Wallabies with flanker Tom Wood and centre Jonathan Joseph among those expected to feature in a refreshed line-up.
Lancaster said: "We will potentially freshen things up with one or two changes. We have players on the return - Alex played 75 minutes yesterday and Jonathan Joseph played. Joe Marler has a grade one MCL so it is likely he won't be available for Saturday. He'd be out of the equation I think. Alex Corbisiero would come back into the equation for him.
"The selection for South Africa will be based on a variety of things. First and foremost the challenge of South Africa, their physicality and the performances they have been putting in on this tour."
Geoff Parling, Tom Palmer, Manu Tuilagi, Charlie Sharples and Tom Youngs all sat out training today with "bumps and bruises as opposed to anything too serious" from the weekend.
England re-grouped at their Bagshot training base on Sunday and reviewed their performance against Australia earlier today with their decisions not to kick penalties coming under scrutiny before the focus was shifted to the Boks.
"We have to take what we can out of the game," Lancaster said. "We talked about all the decisions made in the game. I will support the players in their decision because it is a real-time decision. But we have to make sure we get those decisions correct. Did we get them all right? There are some that have been reviewed but I won't criticise the players for having a mindset to win the game.
"There were plenty of opportunities to win it. We were in the game with less than five minutes to go but the reality is we didn't win it. The game was not as black and white as everyone makes out. The Australia coaches said to me afterwards that that was as good as they have played.
"And until that truck-and-trailer lineout with five minutes to go we were in with a chance of winning. We need to make sure we get that accuracy and decision-making right.
"We pushed them to the line but we didn't get across the line and that is the disappointing them because we believed we could win the game. We can't feel sorry for ourselves. We have to roll out sleeves up and get stuck into South Africa."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
While the Super Rugby season enters the all-important knockout phase, elsewhere pre-season training never looked so enjoyable. We round-up the best snaps in our Week in Pictures
"Our scrums and lineouts are sometimes not that good but our men are very brave." Ken Borland finds that rugby is on the rise in Senegal
Laurie Fisher talks about the Brumbies and Gloucester, and provides revealing thoughts on the player involvement during the glory days in Canberra
"Pre-season is about the only time watching someone puke is hilarious to everyone, apart from the guy bent double." Tom May's latest column