Rugby Union: Carling's close call in training

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WILL CARLING was one of two players to give England a brief injury scare on the last full day of their training camp in Lanzarote yesterday. The captain lay flat on the training pitch for five minutes after being tackled by his rival centre, Phil de Glanville.

The collision looked nasty, but Carling eventually climbed to his feet and reported to the medical team that he had been winded by the impact. Meanwhile, Ian Hunter, who has had two knee injuries and flu already this season, ended his afternoon's training early. After three days of intensive activity, the wing was concerned about a hamstring and had treatment before his discomfort worsened. Both players, though, are expected to be fit for the Five Nations opener against France at Twickenham on Saturday week.

Carling, who will have made his England debut five years ago to the day by the time he faces the French, seeks a hat-trick of Grand Slams. 'The motivation for those of us who enjoyed the first two Grand Slams is that no one has ever done three in succession before,' he said.

'Certainly the other countries will be desperate to stop us winning yet another Grand Slam.'

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