Martin Johnson Releases 5 Players from the England Squad

Has Martin Johnson gone mad? We’re already getting the fear in place for the Investec International kick off between England and Wales this Saturday at Twickenham. Although rugby is one of England’s better sports, those Welsh always put up a good fight.
Hooker George Chuter, wing pair James Simpson-Daniel and David Strettle, flanker Joe Worsley and No.8 Thomas Waldrom have all left the Rugby World Cup preliminary training squad. Johnson cited injuries and ability for players to participate in their club pre-season schedules as the main reasons for the cut in squad numbers at this stage.
Commenting on his choice of candidates to be cut from the squad, Johnson said, “We had 45, which was a decent number and you have to narrow that down at some point and we have to get to 30 obviously. Five have gone which is always a tough call.” Continuing on Joe Worsley, “Joe Worsley – trying to get to his fourth world cup – was a tough call. Joe has had a few injuries and fought and fought to get back and get ahead of some of the other guys but didn’t quite do it. So a tough call on Joe, but with any of the guys they could come back in and play for us tomorrow and do a job.” On the other poor sods, Johnson added, “Dave Strettle trained really well, he was particularly disappointed and thought he’d done well, which he had. I said ‘it’s the same with James Simpson-Daniel, you guys can play, you’ve played Test matches, it’s just got to be someone.'” Obviously it’s a hard choice for any manager to make, but it’s even harder for these players this close to the impending Rugby World Cup.
Talking us through this Saturday’s test game, Johnson matter of factly commented, “This is a Test week, but also a pre-season week as well. Some guys won’t be playing so they’ll need to train very hard this week and get themselves ready for a chance next week. The team need to get the balance right of training and getting better but also tapering down to give themselves a shot to produce on Saturday.” Concluding, on the England vs Wales test match the England Team Manager said, “We need to practice winning Test matches, that’s what we’re here for. When we get there it’s England v Wales so the best thing you can do in that situation is try and win.” So make sure you don your English roses this Saturday and let’s hope we win.

Investec International at Twickenham Stadium Saturday 6th August, 2.30pm kick off.
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