Haskell in England squad for France game

1st March 2007, Comments 0 comments

LONDON, March 1, 2007 (AFP) - England on Thursday named uncapped Wasps flanker James Haskell in a 28-man training squad for the 6 Nations clash against title favourites France at Twickenham on March 11.

LONDON, March 1, 2007 (AFP) - England on Thursday named uncapped Wasps flanker James Haskell in a 28-man training squad for the 6 Nations clash against title favourites France at Twickenham on March 11.

Haskell will join 21 of the players on duty when England were crushed by Ireland at Croke Park in a record 43-13 defeat last weekend - injured Gloucester full-back Olly Morgan is the exception - plus Mark Cueto, Jason Robinson, Mike Catt, Tim Payne, Steve Borthwick and Nick Easter.

Morgan, who went off with a shoulder injury in Dublin, was due to see a specialist Thursday, while England head coach Brian Ashton will monitor the progress of wing Robinson (neck) and flanker Magnus Lund (concussion).

The 21-year-old Haskell has impressed for Wasps this season, while his representative career saw him graduate from last season's Grand Slam-winning England Under-21 side to play for England Saxons against Italy A and Ireland A in recent weeks.

Bath captain Borthwick will put pressure on the second-row pairing of Louis Deacon and Danny Grewcock to face France on Sunday week, while Sale Sharks wing Cueto could feature in England colours for the first time since Andy Robinson's last game as coach against South Africa more than three months ago.

Injuries sidelined Cueto, scorer of 13 tries in 18 Tests, since the Springboks encounter, but he recently returned to action with his club.

With Morgan and his Gloucester colleague Iain Balshaw (groin) out of the running, Wasps' Josh Lewsey could find himself at full-back against France, with Robinson - if fit - Cueto and David Strettle challenging for the wing berths.

Ashton, who is due to name his starting line-up next Tuesday, will look closely at the effectiveness of centre partnership Mike Tindall and Andy Farrell, but it is up front where England were exposed by a rampant Irish pack.

Changes in every row of the scrum cannot be ruled out, with prop Julian White, lock Tom Palmer, flanker Tom Rees and the recalled Borthwick all presenting strong selection cases.

England, despite their Dublin debacle, remain in the title shake-up, but defeat to France - a country they have not beaten since the 2003 World Cup semi-final triumph in Sydney - would render those hopes redundant.

Squad

Backs: Josh Lewsey (Wasps), Jason Robinson (Sale), Mark Cueto (Sale), David Strettle (Harlequins), Mathew Tait (Newcastle), Mike Tindall (Gloucester), Andy Farrell (Saracens), Mike Catt (London Irish), Jonny Wilkinson (Newcastle), Toby Flood (Newcastle), Harry Ellis (Leicester), Shaun Perry (Bristol)

Forwards: Perry Freshwater (Perpignan/FRA), Phil Vickery (Wasps, capt), Julian White (Leicester), Tim Payne (Wasps), George Chuter (Leicester), Lee Mears (Bath), Louis Deacon (Leicester), Danny Grewcock (Bath), Steve Borthwick (Bath), Tom Palmer (Wasps), Nick Easter (Harlequins), Joe Worsley (Wasps), James Haskell (Wasps), Magnus Lund (Sale), Tom Rees (Wasps), Martin Corry (Leicester)

Copyright AFP

Subject French news

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