Jonathan Joseph is reportedly fit enough to face Australia on Saturday, easing Stuart Lancaster's selection problems
Stuart Lancaster’s selection dilemmas have been eased somewhat by the news that outside-centre Jonathan Joseph is likely to be fit for the game against Australia on Saturday.
The Bath playmaker was ruled out of the defeat to Wales with a chest injury and England struggled to make ground in midfield with the pairing of Sam Burgess and Brad Barritt.
England face the prospect of being eliminated from their home World Cup this weekend, should they lose to Australia and see Wales beat Fiji on Thursday, meaning Lancaster’s choices take on extra significance.
Burgess should make way for Joseph to return, meaning Lancaster can return to the centre partnership he employed in the opening game against Fiji.
Alex Goode will likely give up his place on the bench for Burgess, with second-row George Kruis also set to start from the pine as Joe Launchbury takes over from an injured Courtney Lawes in the starting XV.
Ben Morgan is reportedly fit enough to take back his No 8 shirt, with the injury to his replacement against Wales, Billy Vunipola, forcing him out of the rest of the tournament.
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England’s only other injury concern is scrum-half Ben Youngs, who has missed parts of training this week after injuring his ankle against Wales. Saracens’ Richard Wigglesworth is waiting in the wings to replace Youngs should he fail in his bid to return to fitness.