Squad News

Mitchell drafted into England squad as Van Poortvliet is ruled out of World Cup

Leicester scrum-half Jack Van Poortvliet will undergo surgery on his right ankle.

LAST UPDATE | 14 Aug 2023

ENGLAND SCRUM-HALF JACK Van Poortvliet will miss the World Cup to undergo surgery on an ankle injury sustained against Wales on Saturday.

The 22-year-old Leicester back was forced off in the first half of the 19-17 Twickenham win and has been replaced in Steve Borthwick’s 33-man World Cup squad by Northampton’s Alex Mitchell.

England head coach Steve Borthwick said: “It’s really bad luck for Jack and we send him our very best wishes for a swift and successful recovery.”

englands-alex-mitchell-during-the-captains-run-at-the-aviva-stadium-dublin-picture-date-friday-march-17-2023 Alex Mitchell. Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Mitchell joins Ben Youngs and Danny Care as Borthwick’s scrum-half options for the World Cup in France next month.

The 26-year-old was unfortunate to miss out on the original squad after making four impactful replacement appearances during the 2023 Six Nations Championship, injecting energy and tempo into England’s play.

Borthwick faces another issue at half-back as England wait for the outcome of the disciplinary hearing that will determine the length of Owen Farrell’s ban after his Twickenham red card.

Farrell’s shoulder-led challenge to the head of Taine Basham was upgraded from a yellow card to red by the ‘Bunker’ review system and he could now miss England’s World Cup opener against Argentina.

The England captain must now appear before a video disciplinary hearing that begins on Tuesday morning to find out the length of his suspension.

The mid-range sanction for a dangerous tackle is six games and – given he received a three-match ban for the same offence in January, on top of five matches in 2020 and two in 2016 – it is doubtful he will be treated leniently by the disciplinary process.

England complete their World Cup warm-up with games against Ireland and Fiji before launching their group campaign against Argentina in Marseille on 9 September.

Farrell now seems likely to miss out against the toughest opponents in Pool D, while his participation against Japan, Chile and Samoa is also in question.

England continue their World Cup build-up against Ireland at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium on Saturday.

Press Association
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