Selecting Joe Marchant to England’s final World Cup warm-up match is to preparing during the championship, down, states Steve Borthwick.
Although not being called in the band heading to Japan, marchant was named at centre for Friday’s match live on Sky Sports.
Borthwick states the selection, as well as the Charlie Ewels and Matt Kvesic about the seat of Marchant, means any injury replacements that are late will have the advantage of time spent with the squad in the lead-up to the championship.
“It places us in an excellent position in the past, as background shown, when we’re outside in the World Cup and need to call players up, these players have played together as recently as Friday,” Borthwick told Sky Sports.
The inclusion of Marchant sparked whispers which Henry Slade and Jonathan Joseph might be trying hard to get to full fitness in time for England’s opening game – particularly since Slade hasn’t featured in any of those warm-ups – however Borthwick states the coaching staff are happy with the pair’s progress and were not ready to hurry down them.
“Sladey was about this area here training really well, running up around 100 percent, so he’s getting there,” stated the prior Saracens lock. “He was not really ready for this match, a little bit too early, but he’s not far off.
“JJ, he should maintain full training so again not far off, but he has just wasn’t really ready for this particular match .”
Borthwick added that the players chosen for this weekend are not necessarily automatic call-ups in case of harm:”We don’t have a standby list, we’ve got players that train us and train nicely.”
Asked whether there were any issues for centre Manu Tuilagi, who’s not part of this matchday 23, Borthwick reported every player is evaluated during the week to determine whether they’d gain from sport time or a rest.
“Everybody prepares otherwise,” said Borthwick. “We look at each player individually; moments they have had, how much we think they want, exactly what they have to perform, what’s ideal for them. It’s only the choices we make.
“Billy [Vunipola] has coached very well but that he thrives on playing with him, he loves the competition of this match. He wants to be out there, he needs the ball from his hands. He’s playing really well and he’s got a smile on his face for this.”
What Eddie Jones called a”mix and match” choice, natural fetcher Tom Curry starts at blindside at 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 match situation requires it as emphasized if Curry left the area injured in England’s match against Wales at Twickenham.
“At the beginning we had a strategy , we had a couple of bangs to players and Tom went early in that first match which meant we needed to adapt our plan,” said Borthwick.
“This is part of creating that flexibility for different types of game plans we might want to playwith. We have got different combinations.
“We all know Tom is a world-class seven and he played quite well in lately. Therefore it gives him time , he’s played at seven.
“Wils has revealed he wishes to be able to play six, seven and eight for England that, once you return into World Cups, you need that versatility.”
Watch England vs Italy live on Main Event and Sky Sports Action from 7pm on Friday
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