Thomas Waldrom, the latest New Zealander to declare himself an Englishman, is not known as "Thomas the Tank Engine" because of his lightning pace, so it was appropriate that Martin Johnson should take his time in deciding whether to draft the No 8 into his World Cup squad on a formal basis. As of yesterday, though, the Leicester forward is a fully-fledged member of the party.
The manager finally made up his mind four days after Waldrom had been summoned to his homeland as cover for the injured Nick Easter. Not that he is replacing Easter. The Harlequins back-rower is still not fit to train, but England have had a vacancy since the prop Andrew Sheridan returned home.
Meanwhile, the tournament organisers will take no action against England over the latest problem with balls. Against Romania, Jonny Wilkinson twice rejected a ball ahead of a shot at the sticks, apparently in contravention of the laws.
A World Cup official said: "For a conversion attempt, they were supposed to use the ball with which they scored the try. It happened twice and they were told to desist, which they did."Reuse content