England’s World Cup plans are in TATTERS as Anthony Watson is ruled out through injury and Elliot Daly is also a doubt… piling on the misery after Owen Farrell and Billy Vunipola bans
- England’s World Cup plans have been rocked after back Elliot Daly’s new injury
- Mail Sport understands versatile Saracen Daly is ruled out of the tournament
- Anthony Watson is also out of the World Cup in another blow for England
England’s World Cup plans have been rocked by further upheaval as Mail Sport understands Elliot Daly has been ruled out of the tournament.
At this stage, the nature of his injury is unclear but the Saracens veteran had been selected by head coach Steve Borthwick as a valued, versatile asset in the back line and a Lion with vast experience.
Borthwick confirmed on Thursday that Anthony Watson would miss the entirety of the tournament with a calf injury in another blow to England.
Wings Jonny May and Joe Cokanasiga have been called up by Borthwick – with May starting the warm-up clash against Fiji on Saturday.
This latest chaos follows on the back of a turbulent 10 days for England, with captain Owen Farrell and Billy Vunipola being banned for high tackles.
Mail Sport understands England’s Elliot Daly has been ruled out of the Rugby World Cup
The news of the versatile Saracens star’s injury comes as a blow to head coach Steve Borthwick (pictured) after recent bans for key senior players Owen Farrell and Billy Vunipola
Winger Anthony Watson (left) has been officially ruled out of the World Cup due to injury
Farrell was controversially cleared to play after his red card for a high tackle on Taine Basham was rescinded before the England captain was banned for the first two matches of the World Cup.
The national captain appeared at an appeal hearing, via video link, on Tuesday in front of an independent judicial panel comprising chair Nigel Hampton KC (New Zealand), along with Shao-ing Wang from Singapore and Donal Courtney from Ireland.
England’s Rugby World Cup pool matches
Argentina – September 9 (Marseille)
Japan – September 17 (Nice)
Chile – September 23 (Lille)
Samoa – October 7 (Lille)
Farrell’s hearing began at 7.30am and some 13 hours later, there was an announcement from the Six Nations – who oversee the process in this case – that the 31-year-old has been suspended for four matches, having originally avoided a sanction.
The panel reached a guilty verdict and opted to impose the ‘mid-range’ suspension, with a reduction of two weeks for acceptance of foul play, remorse and good character.
It was agreed that the ban would include the warm-up fixture against Ireland in Dublin last weekend.
Last week, there was global uproar when Farrell was spared punishment at an initial disciplinary hearing, after his shoulder struck Basham’s head during England’s encounter with Wales at Twickenham on August 12.
The all-Australian panel deemed that contact made by Jamie George had changed Basham’s running line a split-second before the collision with Farrell, and that mitigating factor meant the match-day decision to upgrade his yellow card to a red was rescinded.
Hours after Farrell was banned, Vunipola received a three-match suspension for a dangerous high tackle on Ireland prop Andrew Porter.
Like Farrell, Vunipola will miss the crucial opening pool matches against Argentina and Japan, as well as this weekend’s warm-up match against Fiji.
However, Vunipola has a clean disciplinary record and has the option to reduce his ban by one week by attending ‘tackle school’ – which would make him available for Japan.