Thumb injury rules Robshaw out of final Test

 

Johannesburg

Chris Robshaw has done plenty for the England team since being appointed captain ahead of the Six Nations. Sadly, he will not be doing anything more for the time being. The Harlequins flanker aggravated a thumb injury during last weekend's defeat by the Springboks at Ellis Park and has been forced to pull out of the final Test of the series in Port Elizabeth at the weekend. The Northampton hooker, Dylan Hartley, will lead the side in his stead.

England are not exactly awash with alternatives on the openside flank. Two young No 7s, Carl Fearns of Bath and Jamie Gibson of London Irish, are starting this evening's game with the South African Barbarians in Potchefstroom and Tom Johnson, the new cap from Exeter, has played virtually all his prominent rugby on the blindside. James Haskell, who can function across the back row and has 42 caps, says he favours a Robshaw-type role, but he is new to Stuart Lancaster's regime.

"Chris has been tremendous for us," Lancaster said, a few minutes after discovering the extent of his captain's injury and deciding it would be too great a risk to play him on Saturday. "As you would expect, Chris wanted to strap it up and get on with it but at the moment it is a fracture without full displacement. As it stands, he should recover quite quickly. Another bang could leave him needing surgery and keep him out of rugby for months.

"You might argue that he's had a pretty good run: he plays in an attritional position, yet he's only missed three or four games all season. But it goes without saying that a player who is captaining his country is terribly disappointed when he's told he can't play, and it was a difficult discussion. Yet when I think back to last August, when he was down about missing out on the World Cup selection and I told him not to worry because his time would come, so much has happened. His time did come and he's been outstanding."

Robshaw's clubmate George Robson will lead the "dirt-trackers" in their midweek business. As Ben Morgan, the No 8 who has started the last five red-rose Tests, will be involved from the start in Potchefstroom, it can be taken that Thomas Waldrom of Leicester is in pole position to face the Boks. Two more of last weekend's Test side, the wing David Strettle and the lock Mouritz Botha, are on the bench, and therefore at risk of losing their places in the Test line-up.

Lee Dickson, the Northampton scrum-half, also features this evening and while he is in need of game time, the popular theory here is that Danny Care of Harlequins will return to the Test scene this weekend, in place of the injured Ben Youngs.

There are also indications that the Saracens full-back, Alex Goode, will make a first start at international level and that two World Cup tight forwards, Alex Corbisiero and Tom Palmer, are pushing hard for promotion from the bench.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Stik on the crane as he completed the mural
art
News
Happy in his hat: Pharrell Williams
people
Arts and Entertainment
Stella Gibson is getting closer to catching her killer
tvReview: It's gripping edge-of-the-seat drama, so a curveball can be forgiven at such a late stage
News
i100(More than you think)
News
Phyllis Dorothy James on stage during a reading of her book 'Death Comes to Pemberley' last year
peopleJohn Walsh pays tribute to PD James, who died today
News
peopleExclusive: Maryum and Hana Ali share their stories of the family man behind the boxing gloves
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected