Volcanic ash leaves England's training trip under a cloud

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The Independent Football

England's world Cup finals preparations are under threat from the volcanic ash cloud that has jeopardised their flight from Heathrow this morning to Graz in Austria, as well as bad weather conditions at their altitude training camp in the Alps.

England are heading to the Hotel Schloss Pichlarn in Irdning in central Austria for a two-week training camp that will involve one return trip for the friendly against Mexico at Wembley, a week today.

However, the plans could be scuppered by cancelled flights and bad weather. There are also fears that some players who have been on holiday since the end of the season, and were returning over the weekend, may not make it back in time for today's flight because of the ash cloud.

Fabio Capello likes Irdning, which he used for pre-season training when he was manager of Real Madrid, because it allows players to train at altitude. However, there is more rain and low temperatures forecast for the area this week, prompting Capello to consider staying in England and using Arsenal's London Colney training complex where the national team are usually accommodated.