Choosing Joe Marchant to England’s final World Cup warm-up game is to preparing during the championship down, says Steve Borthwick.
Marchant has been named at outside centre for Friday’s game against Italy, live on Sky Sports, although not being called from the band.
Borthwick states the selection, in addition to that of Matt Kvesic along with Charlie Ewels about the seat of Marchant, means any injury replacements that are overdue will have the advantage of time spent with the squad in the lead-up into the tournament.
“It places us in an excellent place in the past, as history as shown, once we’re out in the World Cup and will need to call players up, these gamers have played with us as recently as Friday,” Borthwick told Sky Sports.
The addition of Marchant sparked whispers that Henry Slade and Jonathan Joseph might be fighting to get to full fitness in time for England’s opening game – particularly as Slade hasn’t featured in some of the warm-ups – but Borthwick claims the coaching team are happy with the group’s progress and weren’t prepared to rush them back.
“Sladey was with this field here yesterday training very well, running up around 100 per cent, so he’s getting there,” stated the former Saracens lock. “He was not very ready for this particular match, a tiny bit too early, but he’s not far apart.
“JJ, he should maintain full training tomorrow so again not far off, but he has just was not quite ready for this particular game”
Borthwick added that the players chosen for this weekend aren’t necessarily automatic call-ups in case of injury:”We do not have a standby list, we have got players that train with us and train very well.”
Wondering if there were any worries for centre Manu Tuilagi, who is part of the matchday 23, Borthwick reported each player is evaluated to see whether they’d gain from sport a rest.
“Everyone prepares otherwise,” said Borthwick. “We look at every player individually; minutes they’ve had, how much we think they need, what they will need to do, what is best for them. It’s just.
“Billy [Vunipola] has trained really well but he thrives on playing with, he loves the contest of this game. He would like to stand on the market, he wants the ball from his handson. He is playing really well and he has a smile on his face because of it.”
What Eddie Jones known as a”mix and match” selection, 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 positions when a match situation requires it as emphasized when Curry left the area hurt at England’s game against Wales at Twickenham.
“At the start we had a plan, we had a few bangs to players and Tom went off early in that first match that meant we needed to accommodate our strategy,” said Borthwick.
“This is part of creating that flexibility for different types of game plans we may want to play. We have got mixes.
“We all know Tom is a world-class seven and he played very well in recently. He’s played more at seven so that it gives him time .
“Wils has shown he wishes to be able to play six, eight and seven to England that, when you return into World Cups, you want that flexibility.”
Watch England vs Italy live on Sky Sports Action and Main Event from 7pm on Friday

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