Cohen tragedy may mean Healey place

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The Independent Online

England today dropped versatile Austin Healey for Saturday's rugby union international against world champion Australia at Twickenham.

England today dropped versatile Austin Healey for Saturday's rugby union international against world champion Australia at Twickenham.

But the Leicester star could be reinstated after tragic news involving winger Ben Cohen, whose father died a month after being assaulted at his own nightclub.

Coach Clive Woodward has chosen the beefier Dan Luger to the smaller but quicker Healey on the wing against the powerful Wallaby lineup although he said he wanted to see Luger and Cohen on the team at the same time.

"Obviously Austin wants to start but the position he is in is a very competitive one," Woodward said when he announced the lineup on Tuesday.

"It is the first time that both Luger and Cohen have been fit at the same time.

"Luger was outstanding in the first test against South Africa and Cohen was outstanding when he came in to replace the injured Luger in the second test."

Healey, who can also play at scrum half or fly half, will be among the substitutes. But, barely an hour after Woodward named the team came the news of the Cohen tragedy.

England team officials said it would be at least 24 hours before they could announce whether Cohen, who was distressed as he left the team hotel, would be able to face Australia.

The rest of the team, whose last outing was a victory over South Africa five months ago, is a familiar lineup.

Kyran Bracken partners Jonny Wilkinson at halfback, Mike Catt is in the center and the pack has team captain Martin Johnson at second row and one of the best back rows in world rugby, Richard Hill, Neil Back and Lawrence Dallaglio.

The starting lineup:

Matt Perry; Dan Luger, Mike Tindall, Mike Catt, Ben Cohen; Jonny Wilkinson, Kyran Bracken; Jason Leonard, Phil Greening, Phil Vickery, Martin Johnson, Danny Grewcock, Richard Hill, Neil Back, Lawrence Dallaglio.

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