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Thursday, June 05, 2008

It's a dangerous time to be an English back

It's a dangerous time to be an English back

First, Jonny Wilkinson. Then Danny Cipriani. The replacements were named. Then come last weekend, it all went a little pear shaped again with Rob Andrew and Martin Johnson surely pulling their hair out as they watched three of their potential backline kingpins leave the field with facial injuries.

With the upcoming tour of New Zealand, England faces the daunting task of playing the All Blacks at home. That's difficult enough. Add injuries into the equation, and it's fair to say preparation hasn't been ideal.

Dan Hipkiss suffered a fractured cheekbone in the Premiership final against Wasps, and he is now out the tour, along with wing Paul Sackey. Dominic Waldouck and Tom Varndell will be their respective replacements. Hipkiss actually got an accidental elbow from his teamate, prop Julian White.

In the Barbarians game on the weekend, both Charlie Hodgson and Toby Flood took big knocks to the face. Hodgson required 13 stitches after a collision with Jerry Collins, and Flood took a blow to the head from a Pedrie Wanneburg tackle that looked more clumsy then malicious. Both players left the field, but have fortunately recovered and will be going on tour.

It was a weekend that could have ended so differently, but luckily for England, and the tour as a whole, only one of the three knocks resulted in omission from the tour.

What it did show though was just how quickly things can change, and that a few injuries can devastate a tour.

There's no doubt England can recover from losing Wilkinson and Cipriani. The question is if Hodgson will step up and prove to the world that he is still good enough to be the kingpin against one of the toughest oppositions in world rugby.

This clip is simply to show the injuries and create a bit of a discussion point regarding the tour.

Time: 03:46

Posted at 11:13 am | 13 comments

Viewing 13 comments

Fun-bus June 05, 2008 12:49 pm

Hopefully Dom Waldouck will get a game at 12. Barkley-Waldouck-Tindall that would work for me. But hey thats never going to happen, we'll just stick with Flood at 12 then. Hurrah.

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sebastian June 05, 2008 1:07 pm

the first guy gets his share for not going low for the tackle, if he would have gone low it would not have happened, the third one was a penalty in my eyes

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AK June 05, 2008 1:15 pm

We should be fine, dont worry.We cant foresee any problems. It will be a great tour.Titanic captain.

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Cheyanqu June 05, 2008 1:15 pm

doesn't Charlie Hodgson look like Dan Ackroyd?

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Chazza June 05, 2008 1:28 pm

Ouch all of those hits were hard. I think that Hodgson got the worst. I think that england is in trouble with losing these two vital players. I rekon if anything Barkley should play tweleve, but i just wish that cipriani got better faster. Even though im australian i want england to thrash the all blacks!!!

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Sharky June 05, 2008 1:32 pm

Yeah Dan Ackroyd, that's who it is! I've always thought he looks like someone, now I know. With the Flood hit, it looked like Wanneburg got done by the late step. Like, he was charging at him from the angle, probably expecting to jump on his back or whatever, then Flood stepped straight into the oncoming traffic. Hit by a bus. Lights out.

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Anonymous June 05, 2008 3:29 pm

England don't use their backs so they shouldn't worry. They play a purely foward dominated game so lets just see what their pack will do.

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Don June 05, 2008 5:15 pm

Yay for forwards...Toughest motherfuckers...Martin johnson...nuff said.I found it amusing how the director dude was like we'd make a decision on Hipkiss later and there was this lil blurb that said Hipkiss is out...sorry that amused me...lol

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Sander June 05, 2008 7:33 pm

The blurb ws funny! ;-)The last tackle was illegal, even if he was surprised. He was all swinging limbs coming into the tackle, so I don't it ever would have been legal, even if Flood had stood rooted to the spot.I don't rate Hodgson as an international, and I don't know what to make of Flood. Why's Geraghty not on the tour?

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Anonymous June 05, 2008 7:35 pm

barkley better start over flood on tour at 10 and 12

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the real slim shady June 05, 2008 10:12 pm

tackle wasn't illegal, look at Floods low body position just before the tackle...wanneburg is going full tilt at him anyway so if when flood crouches down of course he's gonna get hit higher than shoulder height. If he was standing up straight he would have been hit in the chest..If someone runs at you and at the very last minute they crouch to barrel you out of the way and your shoulder connects with their head? well sh*t its just one of those things..accidental..and if you play it happens all the time."He was all swinging limbs coming into the tackle" - Nob. How do you tackle, arms by your side and legs nice and stiff then wait for someone to fall over you? haha

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Anonymous June 06, 2008 8:19 am

Shame about Cipriani but you have to admit that Hodgson is just not a class 10 at the test match level. As a Kiwi he strikes me as more of a Tony Brown type in terms of level: pure class at the S14 level but not quite at the same level as his test match peers.Also, shame that young Irish center is out. Would be great to see him with BOD. The little fella who replaced him will have his hands full tackling Nonu all night. Wonder if BOD will fake a choke again? The crowd would love it!

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Simon June 06, 2008 11:56 am

Last tackle was reckless not dirty, pen but no card in a full international. People are right about hodgeson he just doesnt have the balls to play when everyones on his back. Barkely plays at 12 ahead of flood but if a 10 is needed flood ahead of barkleyOn the ireland game ur right about the young one i was excited to see him. I imagine bod will mark nonu and wallace will mark smith as nonu is a beast

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