England boss Steve Borthwick hit with two huge injury blows ahead of Rugby World Cup

England Steve Borthwick Rugby World Cup

England boss Steve Borthwick is preparing for the Rugby World Cup

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 24/08/2023

- 14:39

Updated: 24/08/2023

- 14:41

The 2003 champions are due to tackle Argentina in their opening match of the tournament on September 9

England boss Steve Borthwick is facing an injury crisis as next month's Rugby World Cup creeps closer.

According to the Daily Mail, Elliot Daly has been ruled out of the tournament.

The Saracens star has been battling to make the tournament ever since suffering a horror injury in training back in March.

And the competition in France appears to have come too soon for the 30-year-old, dealing Borthwick a major blow as a result.

England Elliot Daly Rugby World Cup

England star Elliot Daly is likely to miss the Rugby World Cup


It has also been confirmed that Anthony Watson will miss the competition in France, too.

England had been hoping the 29-year-old would be able to recover from a calf injury.

But that hasn't happened and England have now called up Jonny May as a replacement, while Joe Cokanasiga has been drafted in to replace Daly.

England have already been left depleted prior to the tournament, with Owen Farrell's recent red card against Wales reinstated.

And Billy Vunipola is serving a suspension for a high tackle as well.

Borthwick's men will go up against Fiji in their final warm-up match on Saturday.

The 43-year-old will be making nine changes for the match, with Courtney Lawes to captain the side on his 100th Test appearance.

Explaining that decision, Borthwick said: "We couldn't be prouder of Courtney on achieving his incredible milestone after 14 years of excellent performances for his country.

"It has been a privilege to watch his journey and witness him develop into a truly outstanding rugby player.

"Not only is Courtney an exceptional talent and an excellent professional, he is also a brilliant role model for young players every time he steps onto the field."

Borthwick also thinks Fiji will be a good test for England as the World Cup creeps closer.

"Fiji have proven themselves to be a strong opposition and we look forward to what we expect to be an exciting and challenging game," said Borthwick.

"Rest assured that we will be looking to convert the opportunities we have recently been creating into points on the scoreboard.

"As this is our last Test before heading to France, I want to thank our fans for all the support you continue to give us, and it means a lot to us that you will be behind us all the way on our World Cup journey."

Meanwhile, England legend Brian Moore fears Borthwick's side won't even make it out of the group stages.

“England have been granted the easiest of draws in their World Cup pool," he said.

"Their opponents are ranked seventh, 12th, 14th and 22nd in the world, and, under normal circumstances, England should expect to win the pool and progress with relative comfort.

"Let us put it this way, would you rather have Scotland’s draw against the first, fourth, 15th and 19th-ranked nations?”

He added: "England fans are now having to consider that their team might not get out of the pool.

"If they do not beat Argentina in their opening game, they would face playing effective knockout rugby against Japan and Samoa.


Anthony Watson England Rugby World Cup

Anthony Watson is set to miss the Rugby World Cup in hammer England blow


"Ordinarily, both those teams would be 15 points the inferior but must now be feeling that on a good day, they might just pull off a surprise.

"The Argentines will approach their England game with some expectation, not just a great deal of hope."

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