Steve Borthwick hit ahead of England’s 2023 Rugby World Cup campaign in France, scrum-half Jack van Poortivliet pulled out of the tournament with an ankle injury; The World Cup runs from September 8 to October 28; England v Argentina opener in Marseille on September 9
11:50, UK, Monday 14 August 2023
England scrum-half Jack van Poortvliet will miss the entire Rugby World Cup after injuring his ankle during Saturday’s practice win over Wales.
The Leicester Tigers player had to be helped off the field during the 19-17 win at Twickenham after accidentally colliding with teammate Ollie Lawrence and will need surgery, the RFU has now confirmed.
Northampton’s Alex Mitchell has replaced van Poortevliet in England’s 33-man squad for next month’s tournament in France alongside Danny Care and Ben Youngs at No.9.
„It’s very unfortunate for Jack and we send him our best wishes for a speedy and successful recovery,” England head coach Steve Borthwick said on Monday.
Van Poortvliet, 22, has established himself as England’s first-choice scrum-half, starting all five Six Nations Tests earlier this year, so his absence leaves Borthwick with a dilemma ahead of the World Cup.
England are sweating on the involvement of captain and fly-half Owen Farrell, with the 31-year-old in danger of missing his World Cup opener after being hit hard by Wales’ Dane Basham.
Farrell will appear before a video disciplinary hearing on Tuesday to determine the length of his ban, with the punishment spanning six matches for a dangerous tackle.
Farrell was convicted of the same offense in January, with an initial four-week suspension reduced to three.
England open their campaign against Argentina on September 9 before pool matches against Japan (September 17), Chile (September 23) and Samoa (October 7).
Borthwick’s men play two more warm-up games ahead of the World Cup – against Ireland in Dublin next Saturday and then against Fiji at Twickenham on Saturday 26 August.
England won, but did the negatives outweigh the positives?
England came from the jaws of defeat at home to Wales in their latest Rugby World Cup warm-up clash, but they emerged from it with more negatives than positives.
England trailed Wales 19-17 to 17-9 after a George Ford penalty on four minutes, but captain Farrell was shown a red card after three fouls on Henry Arundel, Ellis Kenge and Freddie Stewart.
Discipline issues and Farrell’s sacking may have been the headlines, but Borthwick also had other concerns from the day.
Farrell faces the challenge, scrum-half van Poortivliet is sent off, the scrum performs poorly and England’s attack fails again. Read our feature here…
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