Grewcock and Krige on course for Perth collision in World Cup

Clive Woodward would not have wanted it this way, given the depth of his disgust at South Africa's ultra-violent approach to last November's Test match with England at Twickenham, but for 24 hours, the two countries were at one in glossing over the physical excesses of their most troublesome forwards. Woodward, the England coach, named Danny Grewcock of Bath in a 37-man party for next month's tour of New Zealand and Australia, while Rudi Straeuli, his Springbok counterpart, confirmed Corne Krige as his captain for this autumn's World Cup.

Given that Grewcock had recently been dismissed for punching an international colleague, Lawrence Dallaglio, during the Parker Pen Challenge Cup final, and that Krige was still struggling to live down a reputation for calculated thuggery earned during his ill-fated appearance in London before Christmas, neither decision would have been welcomed by those who refuse to buy the argument that rugby is inherently a violent game. Woodward, at least, understood the delicacy of his position, hence his knowing laugh as he described Grewcock's record as "exemplary".

Yesterday, the England coach switched horses and decided to leave his Lions lock at home for the duration of the summer tour, rather than fly him all the way the New Zealand for a few training sessions. Woodward had expected Grewcock, banned for two weeks by a European Rugby Cup disciplinary committee, to appeal against his suspension. When the player and his club decided an appeal was more trouble than it was worth, he opted to cut the cord and take Tom Palmer, the gifted young Leeds second row, instead.

Straeuli, meanwhile, is unlikely to countenance any similar about-turn. Krige, currently recovering from a knee injury that will prevent him facing Scotland in a two-Test series next month, has been officially annointed as his country's leader, and if fit come October, he will renew hostilities with England in a highly significant World Cup pool match in Perth. Grewcock may well be there too, in which case the crowd will expect to be issued with hard hats.

It may well be that Palmer, capped as a replacement against the United States almost two years ago, will be asked to confront the New Zealand Maoris in Taranaki on 9 June - a match that has "nightmare" written all over it. It will certainly amount to a learning experience for the 24-year-old line-out specialist, given the presence of Greg Feek, Dan Braid, Troy Flavell and Taine Randell in the Maori pack. Palmer could then find himself on a plane to Vancouver, where England's shadow side are to play Canada and the United States in the inaugural Churchill Cup tournament. If that is the way of it, the Yorkshireman will join up with Alex Codling, the Saracens-bound Harlequin, who was called into the second-string yesterday.

Having pre-selected Grewcock for World Cup duty - "All things being equal, Danny will definitely be involved," he said this week - Woodward will expect him to remain somewhere near peak fitness over the next seven weeks, in preparation for a warm-weather training slog at the end of July. Grewcock will then play at least one, probably two, of the warm-up matches against Wales and France before taking his place in the 30-man elite party bound for Perth.

Meanwhile, Gloucester have named James Simpson-Daniel, their one serious injury doubt, in their 22 for this weekend's Zurich Premiership final with Wasps at Twickenham. The England wing is likely to form a potent back-three partnership with Thinus Delport, the former Springbok full-back, and Marcel Garvey.

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future