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Page last updated at 14:25 GMT, Monday, 31 May 2010 15:25 UK

Paul Hodgson replaces injured Joe Simpson for England

Paul Hodgson of London Irish and Wasps scrum-half Joe Simpson
Hodgson (left) takes over from the unfortunate Joe Simpson

England have been forced to make a late change to their squad before departing on Monday for their five-match tour of Australia and New Zealand.

Wasps scrum-half Joe Simpson, one of nine uncapped players in the party, sustained a hamstring injury as a late replacement against the Barbarians.

His withdrawal sees a call-up for Paul Hodgson of London Irish.

Fly-half Charlie Hodgson and Newcastle prop Jon Golding, who both picked up knocks on Sunday, are fit to travel.

Hodgson, who left the field with blood pouring from a nose injury, and Golding, who was forced off after a blow to the ribs, will be reassessed when the squad arrives in Perth on Tuesday.

England's first game is against the Australian Barbarians next Tuesday, 8 June, with the first Test against the Wallabies, also in Perth, on Saturday 12 June.


It is the second untimely injury blow for 21-year-old Simpson, who was also ruled out of Six Nations contention after dislocating his shoulder in December.

He only appeared as a replacement for the last nine minutes against the Barbarians in his first England game, taking over from David Strettle on the wing.

"We are extremely disappointed for Joe," said Wasps director of rugby Tony Hanks. "I am confident Joe would have made a very strong impression on the tour and performed really well, but now our focus is on getting him back to full fitness."

Paul Hodgson, who was originally named in the Saxons squad heading to North America for the Churchill Cup, appeared as a replacement in England's first three matches of this year's Six Nations.

But he lost his place in the match-day squad to Leicester's emerging prospect Ben Youngs for the last two rounds, and was overlooked for the original tour squad despite the presence of four scrum-halves.

The 28-year-old, who has won nine caps but started just two Tests since his debut in 2008, will compete with Youngs, Danny Care and Richard Wigglesworth for the number nine jersey down under.

England play a further game against the Australian Barbarians in Gosford on 15 June and a second Test with the Wallabies in Sydney on 19 June, before their final tour match against the New Zealand Maori in Napier on 23 June.

Paul Hodgson has been replaced in the Saxons squad by Northampton scrum-half Lee Dickson, while Leeds hooker Andy Titterrell will come in for George Chuter in the front row.

Revised England 44-man squad to tour Australia and New Zealand:

Forwards: George Chuter, Lee Mears, Steve Thompson, Rob Webber; Dan Cole, Jon Golding, Paul Doran-Jones, David Flatman, Tim Payne, David Wilson; David Attwood, Courtney Lawes, Tom Palmer, Geoff Parling, Simon Shaw; Steffon Armitage, Tom Croft, Nick Easter, Hendre Fourie, James Haskell, Lewis Moody, Chris Robshaw, Dan Ward-Smith, Joe Worsley.

Backs: Delon Armitage, Ben Foden, Chris Ashton, Matt Banahan, Mark Cueto, Ugo Monye, David Strettle; Mathew Tait, Mike Tindall, Dominic Waldouck, Olly Barkley, Shontayne Hape; Toby Flood, Shane Geragthy, Charlie Hodgson, Jonny Wilkinson; Danny Care, Paul Hodgson, Richard Wigglesworth, Ben Youngs.

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see also
Johnson wants 'smarter' England
30 May 10 |  Rugby Union
England 35-26 Barbarians
30 May 10 |  Rugby Union
Wilkinson fit to face Australia
26 May 10 |  Rugby Union
England tour pay row is settled
21 May 10 |  Rugby Union
England pick nine untried players
11 May 10 |  English
Fourie excited by England call-up
11 May 10 |  Leeds
Golding worth England call - Tait
11 May 10 |  Newcastle

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