Cohen injury has England searching for new winger

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The bottom line of the housekeeping from the well received Rugby Aid match depended on your point of view: global or parochial. The news closest to home was of a fractured cheekbone sustained by Ben Cohen which ruled the England wing out of a possible recall against Italy this Saturday.

The bottom line of the housekeeping from the well received Rugby Aid match depended on your point of view: global or parochial. The news closest to home was of a fractured cheekbone sustained by Ben Cohen which ruled the England wing out of a possible recall against Italy this Saturday.

Cohen was hurt in an accidental clash late on and will see specialists for further treatment this week. The England coach, Andy Robinson, who has a back three vacancy to fill after the thumb injury sustained by Jason Robinson against Ireland eight days ago, said: "I'm very disappointed for Ben that he's incurred this injury and I know he'll be disappointed too. As things stand, I'm not intending to call up another player to take his place in the squad." With Josh Lewsey likely to switch to full-back, the empty berth now rests between James Simpson-Daniel, Ollie Smith and Iain Balshaw.

There were other more minor injuries - Tana Umaga, of New Zealand, and Gareth Cooper, of Wales, hobbled off. A Twickenham attendance of around 40,000 was comparable to that for football's contribution to the tsunami relief effort, between a Europe XI and the Rest of the World in Barcelona last month. When the receipts from tickets, television rights, concession stands and programme sales are totted up, there should be around £2.1m heading from the International Rugby Board to the United Nations' World Food Programme.

The South, teasingly garbed in British and Irish Lions red, scored eight tries to the North's three, with six of them converted by the All Black, Andrew Mehrtens, who said afterwards he would come to England when he had outlived his usefulness in New Zealand. An Englishman who would like to go to New Zealand as a Lion - Lawrence Dallaglio - cautioned against reading too much into the match as a Lions trial.

Given the awkward timing, some said the sport would have been better simply writing a cheque, as indeed the Rugby Football Union did by siphoning off £1 per ticket from the recent England v France fixture. Undoubtedly there was an element of being seen to do something, rather than just doing it, but the crowd lapped it up. The last time rugby did something like this - the Sport Aid Sevens of 1986 in Cardiff, when Bob Geldof made a fleeting appearance - only 6,000 spectators pitched up, paying £2 a ticket.

Chris Latham, the Wallaby full-back who ran in two tries with an absolute relish for the occasion, said: "This has been an experience I'll never forget. Normally, we can only form opinions of people on the field. It was nice to see people like Tana Umaga at dinner, or on the bus playing cards. On the field, he's up front and in your face. Off the field, he's a barrel of laughs."

Latham left London last night on a 30-hour trip to Nelson in New Zealand to resume the Super 12 with the Queensland Reds. He looked like he would be smiling all the way.

* The France centre Damien Traille has pulled out of the Six Nations match against Ireland in Dublin on Saturday with a foot injury. He will be replaced by the uncapped Toulouse centre Benoît Baby.

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