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Richard Wigglesworth’s experience will benefit England – Steve Borthwick

Wigglesworth will go straight into the matchday 23 for Wales’ visit to Twickenham on Saturday.

Steve Borthwick insists the experience of Richard Wigglesworth will benefit England after the Saracens scrum-half won the race to replace the injured Ben Youngs.

Youngs has been been ruled out for the remainder of the NatWest 6 Nations and possibly the rest of the season after rupturing the MCL ligament of his left knee in Sunday’s 46-15 victory over Italy.

Wigglesworth will go straight into the matchday 23 for Wales’ visit to Twickenham on Saturday, most likely as cover for Danny Care from the bench, in his first England appearance since the 2015 World Cup.

“Richard’s an outstanding player who brings great experience and knowledge of the game. He’s been playing at the top level of European rugby for a long time now,” said forwards coach Borthwick, Wigglesworth’s former Saracens captain.

“I was sitting in meetings with him this (Tuesday) morning and the input he has, the experience he has, the ideas he has have been excellent.

“He’s come into camp and straight away fitted in seamlessly with the players, picking up all the calls and everything he needs to do.

“One thing that always stands out for me is how fit he is. For a player in that position you need great conditioning and he certainly has that. He’s playing well and is in fantastic shape.”

Youngs, England’s first-choice scrum-half, faces a race against time to be fit for the summer tour to South Africa after his knee buckled awkwardly as he was challenged at the base of a ruck at the Stadio Olimpico.

“As a player you’re tremendously disappointed for Ben. He’s been playing so well and working so hard to constantly improve his game,” Borthwick said.

“Interestingly though, like he said to me this morning, it’s an opportunity for him to get better and he’s already embracing the opportunity it gives to come back in physically even better shape than he’s ever been in.

“So he’s taken a really great approach to what is clearly a really disappointing situation.

“He’s seeing the specialist later to get the full information on everything and then a plan will be made from there.”

Nathan Hughes could be back sooner rather than later after the Wasps number eight was brought in for assessment of his knee injury on Monday.

“Nathan did a short session with me yesterday and looks in really good shape,” Borthwick said.


From Belfast Telegraph