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Wilkinson out of World Cup opener
England flyhalf Jonny Wilkinson twists his ankle and misses the match with the USA.
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2007 12:44 GMT

Jonny Wilkinson is carried off the pitch after injuring his right ankle during training [GALLO/GETTY]

Brian Ashton, England head coach, has named his team for the defending champion's opening match of the 2007 Rugby World Cup against the United States in Lens on Saturday.
 
Ashton was forced into a late change after flyhalf Jonny Wilkinson twisted an ankle in training in Versailles on Tuesday, continuing his miserable run of injuries.
"Jonny Wilkinson twisted his ankle in a non-contact session this morning and is not available for selection," Ashton reported.
 
"He is going for a scan this afternoon to determine the nature and the extent of the injury and until tomorrow there will be no further medical update."

Bath's Olly Barkley will wear the number 10 jersey, with Saracens' Andy Farrell getting a spot on the bench.

Despite Wilkinson's absence Ashton was in an optimistic mood ahead of the game againt the US at Lens' Felix-Bollaert ground.

"We've picked a fifteen that we think will do a job against the USA," Ashton said.

The coach made six changes from the side that lined up against France in the second of England's World Cup warm-ups with the hosts in Marseille last month.

Lawrence Dallaglio returns in place of Nick Easter to an all-Wasps back row alongside Joe Worsley and Tom Rees, while Jamie Noon and Mike Catt combine in the centres and Andrew Sheridan takes over in the front row from Perry Freshwater.

Leicester's Ben Kay was also selected ahead of Bath captain Steve Borthwick to start alongside Simon Shaw in the second row.

Fullback Josh Lewsey will be earning his 50th cap.

The England team to play the USA is:

(15 to 1) Mark Cueto (Sale); Josh Lewsey (Wasps), Jamie Noon (Newcastle), Mike Catt (London Irish), Jason Robinson (unattached); Olly Barkley  (Bath), Shaun Perry (Bristol); Lawrence Dallaglio (Wasps), Tom Rees  (Wasps), Joe Worsley (Wasps); Simon Shaw (Wasps), Ben Kay (Leicester); Phil Vickery (Wasps, capt), Mark Regan (Bristol),  Andrew Sheridan (Sale)

Replacements: George Chuter (Leicester), Matt Stevens (Bath), Martin Corry (Leicester), Lewis Moody (Leicester), Peter Richards (London Irish), Andy Farrell (Saracens), Mathew Tait (Newcastle)

Source:
Agencies
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