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Rugby World Cup

England suffer further setback with Watson withdrawal

Updated on August 25, 2023
Written by Chris
England suffer further setback with Watson withdrawal
  • Winger Watson ruled out with calf injury
  • Other injury concerns for Borthwick
  • Final squad to be named on August 28

England winger Anthony Watson has been ruled out of the Rugby World Cup in France due to a calf injury, as confirmed by England’s head coach Steve Borthwick. The injury was sustained during the team’s warm-up match against Ireland last weekend. Watson is expected to be sidelined for several weeks. This setback comes as a blow to England’s preparations, as Watson is an integral member of the squad.

Squad reshuffle needed after Watson blow

Borthwick expressed his disappointment at the news, highlighting Watson’s significance within the team. The winger’s history of overcoming setbacks and returning stronger was acknowledged by Borthwick. Watson’s absence will require a reshuffling of the squad, with Jonny May likely to take his place on the wing in the upcoming warm-up match against Fiji.

In addition to Watson’s injury, utility back Elliot Daly is currently dealing with a knee injury that renders him unavailable for the upcoming weekend. However, he is anticipated to recover in time for the World Cup. Another concern is wing Henry Arundell, who is in the recovery phase from a back spasm. The team’s flanker, Tom Curry, is also diligently working on recuperating from an ankle injury, while lock George Martin remains sidelined due to a knee injury.

The team’s scrum-half, Jack van Poortvliet, has been forced to withdraw from the tournament due to an ankle injury. His spot in the squad has been taken by Alex Mitchell.

Turbulent build up for England

England’s head coach Steve Borthwick has until August 28th to finalise the squad for the World Cup. The team’s first fixture is scheduled against Argentina on September 9th. The absence of key players like Watson and the various injury concerns pose a challenge, but Borthwick and the team remain determined to put forth a strong performance in the upcoming tournament.

However, it has been an extremely turbulent build up to the tournament and bettors analysing England’s chances need to look at the impact of losing key players to injuries and of the suspensions of Owen Farrell and Billy Vunipola.

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Chris is a former athlete and a qualified PE teacher. He is a keen football fan, watching many matches at different levels throughout the season, and enjoys following many different sports. With betting and sports sites, he has a keen eye for detail and can to highlight positives and negatives for users. His experience in sport as a performer, teacher, writer and fan allows him to see things from many different perspectives.

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