Corry called up to cover for England

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Bristol's captain, Martin Corry, has been drafted into England's squad for Saturday's Test against Italy as cover for the back row, with Ben Clarke making only slow recovery from a "dead leg".

If Clarke, who will be given a day or two yet to confirm his fitness, does not recover it is expected that Wasps' Chris Sheasby will win his first cap, with Corry taking Sheasby's place on the replacements' bench. But there was better news of England's other two injury worries.

Mark Regan, who has been out for a month with a broken thumb, again took full part in training as did the winger Adedayo Adebayo, who is due to win his first cap. He was given the option of resting a leg knock sustained in Bath's loss against Cardiff on Saturday but decided he was fit enough to practise.

England's preparations were disrupted, however. They were unable to train outside because of snow and flooded pitches around their Thames Valley head-quarters and eventually worked-out on indoor tennis courts at Bisham Abbey.

Clive Woodward, the former England and Lions centre, has quit as coach of the League One team London Irish, following the arrival at the club of Willie Anderson.

Woodward, who left the club briefly during the summer when the annual meeting demanded that all officials should be of Irish descent, cannot devote himself full-time to coaching the team and Anderson is now in full charge.

Woodward said: "At a meeting in Belfast two weeks ago I told Willie that if it were necessary for me to stand down in order for the club to secure his services on a full-time basis I would do so. Although I did not think it necessary, events and statements made since his arrival on Thursday have clearly made this action necessary by me.

"After two and a half years work, the club finds itself back in the First Division with all the necessary players. They needed a full-time rugby director and forwards' coach. Now they have got one."

Irish are struggling with only one win from eight games and have scrapped their pounds 500-per-man match fee and reduced payments to leave scope for win bonuses.