Rugby Union: Injured Hanley to miss World Cup

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The Independent Online
ENGLAND HAVE suffered their first casualty as the build-up to the Rugby World Cup intensifies. The Sale wing Steve Hanley, who scored a try on his debut against Wales at Wembley last season, has been forced out of contention.

The injury Hanley sustained to his left shoulder on England's short summer tour of Australia has not cleared up, and yesterday England's coach, Clive Woodward, announced: "I share Steve's disappointment. Unfortunately he is still not 100 per cent, therefore he will not figure in our plans for October."

Hanley, 20, who hopes to undergo surgery later this week, was being given a thorough work-out when the shoulder "popped" again. "I was testing the shoulder, but when I stretched my left arm out to try and make a tackle, it just went," Hanley said. "The injury has happened twice now, so maybe I was trying to come back too early. It is a bitter blow for me, but I would rather have the problem sorted out now through surgery."

There was another potentially more serious pronouncement from the England camp in Yorkshire with the news that the Saracens scrum-half Kyran Bracken has left the training squad temporarily as a precaution for treatment on his back, but Woodward explained: "We do not anticipate any long-term problems and we expect to see him return to England training very soon."

Bracken's absence has forced Woodward to call up uncapped Wasp Martyn Wood and Scott Benton, the former Gloucester player now at Leeds.

Back at Sale another England man, centre Barrie-Jon Mather, has been taken off the transfer list.

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