Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Mixed fitness news for England

Jonny Wilkinson

Jonny Wilkinson took part in a light England training session on Tuesday, to give manager Martin Johnson a fitness boost ahead of the Rugby World Cup quarter-final against France.

But concerns persist over centre Mike Tindall, who suffered a dead leg in Saturday's victory over Scotland and sat out training.

Wilkinson damaged his elbow against Scotland last weekend and Johnson admitted on Sunday he was worried the injury would keep his star fly-half out of England's last eight showdown

At that stage, Johnson had deeper concerns over Wilkinson than Tindall.

But the Toulon fly-half, a World Cup winner in 2003, took part in the session at Takapuna Rugby Club without any obvious strapping on his arm.

Johnson will name his side to face France in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Should Wilkinson suffer any reaction then Toby Flood would come into the team at fly-half following his match-winning contribution off the bench against Scotland.

If Tindall is ruled out, Johnson must decide whether to start with Shontayne Hape at inside centre, press the versatile Matt Banahan into midfield action or pair Wilkinson up with Flood.

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