English Rugby
Flutey set for World Cup axe
ESPNscrum Staff
August 21, 2011
England centre Riki Flutey in action during a training session, England training session, Pennyhill Park Hotel, Bagshot, England, February 2, 2010
Flutey started against Wales on August 6 but looks certain to miss out on a place in the final 30-man squad. © Getty Images

England centre Riki Flutey looks to be a high profile casualty ahead of Monday's World Cup squad announcement.

The Wasps inside centre started for England against Wales on August 6 but following the injury to scrum-half Danny Care, Martin Johnson has been forced into a re-think on the make-up of his 30-man party. Flutey's Wasps team-mate Joe Simpson has now come back into the reckoning as the third scrum-half alongside Leicester's Ben Youngs and Saracens' Richard Wigglesworth. And Simpson's inclusion looks to be at the expense of Flutey, according to reports.

Despite Flutey offering cover for England at the inside centre berth, fly-half and scrum-half it seems his versatility has worked against him with Johnson preferring a specialist scrum-half to replace Care. The decision comes instead of opting for a makeshift half-back cover with Flutey and fullback Ben Foden originally pencilled in to provide cover for Youngs and Care.

Flutey's omission comes as Johnson has reportedly opted for a 17-13 split between forwards and backs in the squad. However, in the event of an injury, it is expected that Flutey will be firmly in the mix for a ticket on the next plane to New Zealand.

England complete their warm-up Tests against Ireland on Saturday at the Aviva Stadium before opening their World Cup campaign against Argentina on September 10.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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