England centre Jonathan Joseph continued to offer hope that he might be ready for the critical World Cup showdown with Australia after playing a role in training.
Joseph was ruled out of the 28-25 defeat by Wales because of a pectoral muscle injury and faces a race against time to prove his fitness for Saturday’s visit of the Wallabies, who must be beaten if the hosts are to stay in the tournament.
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If fit, Joseph is an automatic selection at outside centre and the make-up of England’s midfield hinges on his availability.
“Jonathan walked through this morning with us and is due to train this afternoon. We’ll see if he plays a full part,” attacking skills Mike Catt said.
Number eight Ben Morgan has recovered from his knee problem and is available to face Australia, but lock Courtney Lawes and scrum-half Ben Youngs are unlikely to recover in time from their respective knee and ankle issues. England name their team tomorrow morning.
Meanwhile, Richard Wigglesworth has responded to criticism of Stuart Lancaster’s England from Will Carling by questioning the former captain’s grasp of modern professional rugby.
Carling reacted to Saturday’s 28-25 defeat against Wales by accusing Lancaster of creating a “classroom-oriented environment” and treating the players as “schoolboys”.
“We knew coming into this that it could be like this, but he doesn’t know, hasn’t played the game for how long and hasn’t been involved in professional rugby for how long,” scrum-half Wigglesworth said.
“Certain people who have come out and said things should know better and it seems that no one has ever made a mistake in life and no one has made a decision that hasn’t worked out for them.
“I have no interest in anything they have to say because they are not here. They are not living it and doing it and I’m not bothered.”
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