France v England, Six Nations, March 20
Hodgson drafted in as cover for Wilko
March 16, 2010

Sale fly-half Charlie Hodgson has been drafted into the England squad ahead of their Six Nations showdown against France as precautionary injury cover for Jonny Wilkinson.

Wilkinson suffered a blow to the head during England's 15-15 draw with Scotland last Saturday and had to be replaced early in the second half. Hodgson, who last played for England on the ill-fated tour of New Zealand in 2008, was briefly drafted into the squad earlier in the tournament after Wilkinson complained of a thigh problem.

England's medics ran the rule over the squad on their return to their Pennyhill Park base on Monday and were happy to report that Ugo Monye is making "good progress" after suffering a neck injury at Murrayfield. England have also confirmed lock Simon Shaw, who missed the Scotland game with a shoulder injury, is expected to take part in full training this week ahead of the Paris clash.

Wilkinson was dazed after colliding with his captain Steve Borthwick and told to spend the rest of the match in a darkened room after being replaced by Toby Flood. The Toulon fly-half was confident he had not been concussed and would be available for selection to face France, although he will need to pass the standard series of tests first.

Monye was stretchered from the field with his neck in a brace after a nasty clash with the Scotland flanker Kelly Brown. Just a fortnight after Scotland winger Thom Evans came close to suffering a catastrophic neck injury against Wales, the medics took every possible precaution with Monye. But X-rays revealed there was no significant neck damage and Monye now has his sights set on playing against Grand Slam-chasing France on Saturday night.

England manager Martin Johnson has put his team announcement for the France game back until Wednesday lunchtime.


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