Marler set to miss Bok clash
Marler set to miss Bok clashSHARE
England prop Joe Marler is set to miss Saturday’s Test against the Springboks after suffering a knee injury in last weekend’s loss to Australia.
The Harlequins loosehead sustained a grade one medial collateral ligament tear during England’s 20-14 home defeat and is expected to be replaced by Alex Corbisiero.
Coach Stuart Lancaster hinted that the injury-enforced change won’t be the only alteration to the team for the important match against South Africa.
“We will potentially freshen things up with one or two changes. We have players on the return – Alex played 75 minutes yesterday and Jonathan Joseph played,” Lancaster said.
“Joe Marler has a grade one MCL so it is likely he won't be available for Saturday. He'd be out of the equation I think. Alex Corbisiero would come back into the equation for him.”
Joseph and flank Tom Wood are earmarked to feature in the tweaked line-up."The selection for South Africa will be based on a variety of things. First and foremost the challenge of South Africa, their physicality and the performances they have been putting in on this tour," said Lancaster.
Geoff Parling, Tom Palmer, Manu Tuilagi, Charlie Sharples and Tom Youngs all sat out of Monday’s training session with "bumps and bruises as opposed to anything too serious.”
The squad held a review session on Monday morning, in which the controversial decisions not to kick three penalties at goal were discussed and the focus shifted to the fourth Test of the year against the Springboks.
"We have to take what we can out of the game," Lancaster said. "We talked about all the decisions made in the game. I will support the players in their decision because it is a real-time decision.
"But we have to make sure we get those decisions correct. Did we get them all right? There are some that have been reviewed but I won't criticise the players for having a mindset to win the game. There were plenty of opportunities to win it. We were in the game with less than five minutes to go but the reality is we didn't win it.
"The game was not as black and white as everyone makes out. The Australia coaches said to me afterwards that that was as good as they have played.
"And until that truck-and-trailer lineout with five minutes to go we were in with a chance of winning. We need to make sure we get that accuracy and decision-making right.
"We pushed them to the line but we didn't get across the line and that is the disappointing them because we believed we could win the game. We can't feel sorry for ourselves. We have to roll out sleeves up and get stuck into South Africa."