Selecting Joe Marchant to England’s final World Cup warm-up game is down to preparing during the championship, says Steve Borthwick.
Although being named from the 31-man band heading to Japan marchant was named at outside centre for Friday’s game against Italy, live on Sky Sports.
Borthwick says Marchant’s choice, in addition to that of Charlie Ewels along with Matt Kvesic around the bench, means any injury replacements that are overdue will have the advantage of time spent with the squad in the.
“It puts us in an excellent position in the past, as background shown, when we’re outside in the World Cup and will need to call up players, these players have played with us as recently as Friday,” Borthwick told Sky Sports.
The addition of Marchant sparked whispers which Henry Slade and Jonathan Joseph might be fighting to reach full fitness in time for England’s opening game – particularly since Slade has not featured in some of their warm-ups – but Borthwick says the training staff are happy with the pair’s progress and were not ready to rush them back.
“Sladey was with this field here training very well, running around about 100 percent, so he’s getting there,” explained the prior Saracens lock. “He wasn’t really ready for this game, a tiny bit too early, but he’s not far away.
“JJ, he should be in full training tomorrow so again not far away, he has just wasn’t really ready for this game.”
Borthwick added that the players selected for this weekend aren’t necessarily automatic call-ups in case of harm:”We do not have a standby list, we have got players who train us and train nicely.”
Asked whether there had been any issues for centre Manu Tuilagi, who is part of their matchday 23, Borthwick explained every player is evaluated throughout the week to find out if they would gain from a rest or sport time.
“Everyone prepares differently,” said Borthwick. “We look at each player separately; minutes they’ve had, how much we think they need, what they will need to perform, what’s best for them. It’s just.
“Billy [Vunipola] has coached very well but he thrives on playing, he also loves the competition of the match. He would like to be on the market, he wants the ball from his hands. He’s playing well and he has a smile on his face because of it.”
What Eddie Jones called a”mix and match” choice, natural fetcher Tom Curry begins at blindside in Newcastle and also Mark Wilson wears the No 7 jersey,” a move Borthwick says is designed to help players adapt to playing in different places when a game situation requires it as emphasized when Curry left the area hurt at England’s game against Wales at Twickenham.
“At the beginning we had a strategy , we had a few bangs to players and Tom went off early in that first game which meant we had to adapt our strategy,” said Borthwick.
“This is part of establishing which flexibility for different types of game programs we may want to play. We’ve got mixtures.
“We all know Tom is a world-class seven plus he played really well in lately. He has played more at seven than six so it gives him time there.
“Wils has revealed he would like to be able to play with seven, eight and seven for England that, if you return into World Cups, you want that flexibility.”
Watch England vs Italy reside on Sky Sports Action and Main Event from 7pm
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