England delay skipper decision
England will delay a decision until the last minute over injured captain Steve Borthwick's availability against France.
Last Updated: 18/03/10 7:50pm
England will delay a decision until the last minute over injured captain Steve Borthwick's availability for Saturday night's RBS 6 Nations showdown with France.
The medical team will make a final decision on his availability before the squad leaves for Paris on Friday, after the lock underwent another scan on his injured left knee on Wednesday afternoon.
If Borthwick is ruled out, Stade Francais lock Tom Palmer is on standby to come into the squad after training with England all week.
But the prognosis does not look promising after Borthwick aggravated an existing injury late in England's 15-15 draw with Scotland last weekend.
After receiving conflicting opinions from two specialists on Tuesday afternoon, Borthwick was advised to spend 48 hours with his leg in a brace and he sat out Wednesday's training session.
His condition was reviewed on Thursday and there were no reports of an improvement from the England medics, only that a final decision will be delayed until the last minute.
Borthwick, who has captained England in 20 consecutive Test matches, had been carrying the injury for about three weeks but flared up worse than normal at Murrayfield.
He said: "There was an incident late in the game on Saturday and I just had a sharp occurrence.
"It is something I have been rehabbing a little bit over the last few weeks - but this is different."
Northampton lock Courtney Lawes was on the bench for England against Scotland but Palmer was drafted in from Paris because of his superior lineout knowledge.