England in SA

Haskell unlikely to start

2012-06-04 21:40
James Haskell (Gallo Images)

Durban - The late arrival of England flank James Haskell in South Africa means he is unlikely to make the team for the first Test here Saturday.

Haskell, capped 42 times but never under new coach Stuart Lancaster, flew into Durban on Sunday after completing his contract with New Zealand Super Rugby franchise, the Highlanders.

However, the need to recover from jet leg prevented him from training on Monday and there will be only one more session before the team is named early on Thursday for the first of three Tests on consecutive weekends.

"James talked about his experiences playing against South African sides in the Super 15 and I talked him through the journey of the Six Nations and where we are now," Lancaster told a media conference.

Captain Chris Robshaw and Tom Croft were the flanks when England defeated Ireland 30-9 at Twickenham last March to finish second behind Wales on the Six Nations standings, but an injury has ruled the latter out of the tour.

Left wing David Strettle and loosehead prop Alex Corbisiero did not train on Monday, but Lancaster is hopeful they will be available for the first Test at the 50 000-seater Kings Park stadium.

Samoa-born centre Manu Tuilagi trained after missing the first two sessions on tour while flyhalf Toby Flood has fully recovered from ankle and groin injuries that sidelined him for the English Premiership final last month.

The other Tests are scheduled for June 16 in Johannesburg and June 23 in Port Elizabeth and there will also be two midweek fixtures against South African Barbarians selections drawn from Currie Cup second-tier players.

Read more on:    england in sa  |  james haskell  |  rugby
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