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Wednesday, October 13, 1999 Published at 15:39 GMT 16:39 UK

England reprieve for Guscott

Phil de Glanville: Bruised ribs will keep him out of the Tonga match

Veteran centre Jeremy Guscott has been recalled to the England team to play Tonga on Friday - after his Bath team-mate Phil de Glanville pulled out through injury.

De Glanville, England's try-scorer and arguably their most impressive back in the 30-16 World Cup defeat by New Zealand, has bruised ribs.

Guscott had been dropped from the side after struggling against the All Blacks.

The 34-year-old's 10-year England career had looked in doubt when he was not even named among the replacements.

But de Glanville's misfortune means Guscott will partner the fit-again Will Greenwood in the centre and will win his 65th cap in England's final Pool B game.

"Phil was expected to recover in time for Friday but he has not made the progress we had hoped," said England coach Clive Woodward.

"However, we expect him to be fully fit in the next few days and to be in contention for any future games."

Criticism from coach

Woodward had already made six changes from the team beaten by the All Blacks - partly because he now knows that England must play an extra game to reach the quarter-finals.

[ image: Jeremy Guscott was consistently shackled by the All Blacks defence]
Jeremy Guscott was consistently shackled by the All Blacks defence
But he also made selection choices, after he was openly critical of the decisions taken by some of his players - notably Guscott and fly-half Jonny Wilkinson - in the early stages of last Saturday's match.

"In the first 90 seconds we kicked the ball three times," said Woodward.

"If we had gone out of the tournament playing like that I would probably never spoken to them."

Woodward dropped Wilkinson - but the 20-year-old is on the bench and is likely to return later in the tournament, should Tonga be overcome.

But the coach feels that the youngster is feeling the pressure of his first World Cup and has opted instead for Paul Grayson - at least for this game.

"We have to go with the strongest team because, if we don't win this match, we are out," Woodward said.

"I was naturally disappointed with the (All Blacks) game more so after watching the first 20 minutes on tape."

England team:

M Perry (Bath); A Healey, W Greenwood (both Leicester), J Guscott (Bath), D Luger (Saracens); P Grayson, M Dawson (both Northampton); G Rowntree (Leicester), P Greening (Sale), P Vickery (Gloucester), M Johnson (Leicester), G Archer (Bristol), J Worsley (Wasps), R Hill (Saracens), L Dallaglio (Wasps).

Replacements: N Beal (Northampton), M Catt (Bath), J Wilkinson (Newcastle) , N Back (Leicester), D Grewcock (Saracens), J Leonard (Harlequins), R Cockerill (Leicester).

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