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Thursday, 23 March, 2000, 12:25 GMT
Woodward leaves Johnson behind
johnson
Martin Johnson has failed to break into the squad
England coach Clive Woodward has omitted former captain Martin Johnson from his 25-man squad, ahead of their final Six Nations clash against Scotland at Murrayfield.

Current England second-row pairing Garath Archer and Simon Shaw are predictably retained after featuring prominently during the victories over Ireland, France, Wales and Italy.

Six Nations Championship
Unless either player picks up an injury between now and Sunday week, then Johnson has no prospect of regaining the place he lost through injury, post-World Cup.

The British Lions captain led England A to victory over their Italian counterparts in L'Aquila last Friday - only his second serious competitive outing since recovering from an Achilles problem and then concussion.

The chances are that he will continue as England A captain when they face Scotland A in Edinburgh a week on Saturday.


Vickery
Phil Vickery rejoins the squad
Woodward has retained the 22 players on duty at Rome's Stadio Flaminio, adding Leicester centre Will Greenwood, Bath hooker Mark Regan and Gloucester prop Phil Vickery to the group that will assemble in Edinburgh next Tuesday.

Vickery missed England's Italian job because of concussion - Darren Garforth deputised - but his mandatory 21-day rest period expires a day before the Scotland match.

Woodward, due to announce his starting line-up for the Grand Slam clash next Wednesday, must decide whether Garforth is retained or to recall Vickery who will not have played since 11 March.

England benchmen Andy Gomarsall and Joe Worsley will link up with the squad from Hong Kong, where they are on sevens duty this weekend, while wing Ben Cohen - scorer of five tries in just four Tests - will line up on the left wing.

England are seeking their first Championship clean sweep since 1995, having so far averaged more than 42 points and almost five tries per game.

England squad:

Backs: Matt Perry, Iain Balshaw, Austin Healey, Mike Tindall, Will Greenwood, Mike Catt, Ben Cohen, Alex King, Jonny Wilkinson, Matt Dawson, Andy Gomarsall.

Forwards: Jason Leonard, Trevor Woodman, Phil Greening, Neil McCarthy, Mark Regan, Darren Garforth, Phil Vickery, Garath Archer, Simon Shaw, Richard Hill, Joe Worsley, Martin Corry, Neil Back, Lawrence Dallaglio.

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See also:

18 Mar 00 | Six Nations
Healey hat-trick sparks Roman romp
22 Mar 00 | Rugby Union
Eligibility row hits Scotland
22 Mar 00 | Rugby Union
Sinkinson: I'm not eligible for Wales
22 Mar 00 | Rugby Union
Cohen dumped by Saints
21 Mar 00 | Rugby Union
Best turns his back on England
20 Mar 00 | Six Nations
England yet to impress doubters
18 Mar 00 | Six Nations
Woodward eyes Slam decider
Links to other Rugby Union stories are at the foot of the page.