Setback for Moore as Mitchell earns England call-up

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The Independent Online
Rugby Union

Brian Moore suffered a setback in his campaign to regain his England place yesterday when his Harlequins club-mate Simon Mitchell, who rotates the hooking duties with Moore, was drafted into an expanded squad.

Moore was dropped from the squad for last Saturday's Test against South Africa after winning 64 caps.

Mitchell is one of nine players added to the Twickenham squad for training at Marlow next Tuesday in the build-up to the Test against Western Samoa on 16 December.

Paul Hull, the full-back England rejected at the start of the year, is recalled. Also back in the squad are Tim Stimpson, the West Hartlepool full-back, Wasps' backs Nick Greenstock and Andy Gomarsall, Leicester prop Darren Garforth and back row forwards Rory Jenkins (Harlequins) and Tony Diprose (Saracens). Called into the official squad for the first time, along with Mitchell, is the Orrell wing Jim Naylor.

Simon Shaw, the Bristol lock, would have been included but for his horrific leg injury on Wednesday. It is likely that Sale's John Fowler will come in instead to reinforce the lock strength.

Shaw will miss the rest of the season after suffering career-threatening leg and ankle injuries during Bristol's 26-12 defeat by South African tourists Transvaal on Wednesday. He sustained a double dislocation of his left ankle and a fractured shin. He also damaged the ligaments and tendons in his ankle.

The break and the dislocation should not prove a problem long term, but Bristol's coaching co-ordinator, Brian Hanlon, said surgeons are worried about the ligament damage. "If anything poses a long-term threat to his career, it is that," he said.

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