Joe Marler gives England a scare after playing a limited part in training

first_imgJoe Marler was a notable absentee for the majority of England’s last training session before Eddie Jones names his side for their first World Cup match against Tonga on Sunday, raising question marks over whether the loosehead prop will be available.Marler did not take part in England’s high-octane fitness session on Thursday afternoon and it is understood he was restricted to limited work with Mako Vunipola and Jack Nowell – both of whom have been ruled out of Sunday’s match – while the rest of the squad were then put through their paces under match conditions. France confident of pipping England to top spot and going all the way to World Cup final … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. 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Rugby World Cup 2019 Read more Show Topics • Fixtures, tables and results• Top try and points scorers• Stadium guide• Referee guide• Our latest minute-by-minute live reports• Sign up to The Breakdown, our free rugby union email newsletterTeam guidesPool A: Ireland, Japan, Russia, Samoa, ScotlandPool B: Canada, Italy, Namibia, New Zealand, South AfricaPool C: Argentina, England, France, Tonga, USAPool D: Australia, Fiji, Georgia, Uruguay, Wales Rugby World Cup Share on LinkedIn Thank you for your feedback. Meanwhile, Elliot Daly has urged England to focus on advancing through the pool stages before even contemplating winning the World Cup. England failed to reach the quarter-finals of their home World Cup four years ago and Daly believes the first priority must be to avoid a similar fate in Japan.“Everyone wants to win the World Cup, but for us it’s just important to get out of the pool well,” Daly said. “We’ve got USA and Tonga to start and then Argentina and France, so they’re our main focus.We need to perform well in that opening game to get off to a good start and then we can see what happens after that.”Murray and Sexton bringing ‘buzz’ backHalf-backs Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton have boosted Ireland’s “buzz” before Sunday’s World Cup kick-off, according to Richie Murphy.Skills coach Murphy waxed lyrical over Ireland’s British and Irish Lions playmakers, describing Murray as “sharp” and Sexton “very hungry” with the Yokohama clash against Scotland inching closer. Murray and Sexton ran the show in Ireland’s 2018 Six Nations Grand Slam but have both since had to battle for form and fitness. Rugby union Twitter Share on Twitter Photograph: Christophe Ena/AP Was this helpful? Support The Guardian Share via Email Share on Messenger Hide Share on WhatsApp England rugby union team Johnny Sexton during Ireland training in Ichihara. Photograph: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images Since you’re here… Share on Facebook Reuse this content Pinterest Share on Pinterest Facebook With Mako Vunipola already ruled out, England can ill afford another injury headache at loosehead prop, particularly someone of Marler’s experience. Ellis Genge is also part of the squad and would start against Tonga on Sunday if Marler was unable to while the reserve hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie does have experience of playing at prop at age-grade level but has never done so internationally.Jones names his side at 4.15am BST on Friday morning and, while the Rugby Football Union moved to play down concerns over Marler, it is well known that Jones places great stock in the last session before the team announcement.Marler, who is also acting as emergency tighthead cover in Japan, is one of five props in England’s squad with Jones admitting when naming his World Cup squad that he was taking a risk in certain areas, including the front row. The 29-year-old Marler retired from international rugby 12 months ago, citing the need to spend more time with his family, but reversed his decision over the summer. The duo eased back into familiar rhythm and tempo in Ireland’s 19-10 warm-up win over Wales in Dublin, though – and now Murphy has backed both to help deliver “a massive World Cup”.“Conor picked up that knock earlier on in pre-season but he’s bounced back really well, he looks sharp, his passing is good,” said Murphy. “Johnny’s in really good form. Obviously, he’s only had one game coming into the World Cup which is probably not exactly what he would have wanted.“He would have wanted to play more. That’s where he’s at. He’s in really good shape physically, mentally very hungry, and he’s looking forward to a massive World Cup, as all our players are. He’s in a really good place. There’s a nice buzz around the two guys when they’re training and they’re leading within the group.” PA Quick guide Our Rugby World Cup 2019 coverage last_img

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