Fitness fight for Wilkinson but Carter's world ends

'Blue-steel' man has scan on arm as New Zealand's talisman is ruled out of tournament

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The Independent Online

Jonny Wilkinson was due to have a scan on a bruised forearm after enduring another nervy night of goal-kicking in England's 16-12 World Cup win over Scotland.

The win that sent England to a quarter-final against France in Auckland on Saturday was sealed by Chris Ashton diving in at the corner three minutes from time; Toby Flood converted after coming on for Mike Tindall, who suffered a dead leg.

"We hope he'll be all right," the England manager, Martin Johnson, said of Wilkinson, who missed three first-half penalties and two drop-goal attempts but did kick a beauty of a drop off his right foot when Scotland were 12-3 up in the third quarter. Johnson will have to choose carefullybetween his two No 10s for the match against the French, who lost 19-14 to Tonga yesterday.

"Floody took the reins really well in that last 10 minutes," said Tindall. "But with Jonny, he's blue steel. Nothing affects him."

The Scots, who needed an eight-point win to qualify, were on the brink of elimination at the pool stage for the first time, unless Georgia could shock Argentina this morning.

The favourites, New Zealand, suffered a huge blow as Dan Carter was ruled out of the World Cup with a groin injury. Richie McCaw misses today's match against Canada with a foot injury.

The New Zealand fly-half was due to step up to the captaincy for the first time in his illustrious career before picking up the injury in training.