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.

  • Get to the point
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

Major medical journal Lancet under attack for 'extremist hate propaganda' over its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Lancet accused of 'anti-Israel hate propaganda' over coverage of Gaza conflict

Threat to free speech as publishers of renowned medical journal are accused of inciting hatred and violence
General Election 2015: Tories and Lib Dems throw their star names west to grab votes

All noisy on the Lib Dems' western front

The party has deployed its big guns in Cornwall to save its seats there. Simon Usborne heads to the heart of the battle
How Etsy became a crafty little earner: The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?

How Etsy became a crafty little earner

The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?
Guy Ritchie is the latest filmmaker to tackle King Arthur - one of our most versatile heroes

King Arthur is inspiring Guy Ritchie

Raluca Radulescu explains why his many permutations - from folk hero to chick-lit hunk - never cease to fascinate
Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations for the man or woman on the street?

Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations?

The Apple Watch has apparently sold millions even before its launch tomorrow
Don't fear the artichoke: it's a good cook's staple, with more choice than you'd think

Don't fear the artichoke

Artichokes are scary - they've got spikes and hairy bits, and British cooks tend to give them a wide berth. But they're an essential and delicious part of Italian cuisine
11 best men's socks

11 best men's socks

Make a statement with your accessories, starting from the bottom up
Paul Scholes column: Eden Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo

Paul Scholes column

Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo
Frank Warren: Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal

Frank Warren's Ringside

Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal
London Marathon 2015: Kenya's brothers in arms Wilson Kipsang and Dennis Kimetto ready to take on world

Kenya's brothers in arms take on world

Last year Wilson Kipsang had his marathon record taken off him by training partner and friend Dennis Kimetto. They talk about facing off in the London Marathon
Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad but it's not because I refuse to fly

Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad

Green leader prefers to stay clear of her 'painful' family memories but is more open about 'utterly unreasonable' personal attacks
Syria conflict: Khorasan return with a fresh influx of fighters awaiting the order to start 'shooting the birds'

Khorasan is back in Syria

America said these al-Qaeda militants were bombed out of the country last year - but Kim Sengupta hears a different story
General Election 2015: Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North for Ukip?

On the campaign trail with Ukip

Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North?
Four rival Robin Hood movies get Hollywood go-head - and Friar Tuck will become a superhero

Expect a rush on men's tights

Studios line up four Robin Hoods productions
Peter Kay's Car Share: BBC show is the comedian's first TV sitcom in a decade

In the driving seat: Peter Kay

Car Share is the comedian's first TV sitcom in a decade. The programme's co-creator Paul Coleman reveals the challenges of getting the show on the road