England boss Stuart Lancaster believes Christian Wade will be fit to face All Blacks
England boss Stuart Lancaster is confident that Christian Wade will be available to face New Zealand next week.
Last Updated: 07/11/13 4:11pm
The Wasps winger was widely expected to replace Chris Ashton in the starting XV to face Argentina on Saturday, but he has been ruled out after suffering a hamstring strain in training.
Marland Yarde is also out of the Twickenham clash with a hip problem, so Ben Foden starts on the left-wing with Ashton retaining his place on the opposite flank.
"There was a good chance Christian was going to start," Lancaster said. "He trained in the squad on Tuesday afternoon, but unfortunately his hamstring tightened up as he reached down for a ball.
"It's a grade one hamstring injury, so he's probably going to be alright by Sunday or Monday, so there's a good chance he'll be available for the New Zealand game."
Ashton has come under fire after a number of disappointing performances for England, but Lancaster backed him to make the most of his reprieve.
Asked if he expected a response from the Saracens wing, Lancaster added: "Yes, definitely. There were one or two areas of his game he was disappointed with, but we put it on him a bit this week and he's trained well.
"He comes back into the side and I'm sure he will have a point to prove."
Lancaster also denied he was taking a gamble in starting David Wilson in the front row with Dan Cole dropping to the bench along with the fit-again Alex Corbisiero.
"David was outstanding in Argentina in the summer," Lancaster said. "Our scrum won well over there and I think the form he showed has continued for Bath this season.
"He's been excellent under the new scrum laws as a tight-head, and his loose play has improved as well. Everything we have asked of him he has done, and I think now is the right time to give him a start.
"We know how tough Argentina are going to be, and how difficult the scrum contest will be, it's nice to have Dan Cole, Tom Youngs and Alex Corbisiero on the bench."
Dylan Hartley earned a recall at hooker after Tom Youngs was excused training on Thursday to attend the birth of his first child, although he will be on the bench on Saturday.
"Lancaster added: "Dylan has played extremely well this season and has been pushing hard. He's been training well, and I though he made a real impact from the bench. With what was going on with Tom, it was an easy decision.
"Tom will come on and I'm sure he will have a point to prove from the bench, and we'll deal with selection for the New Zealand game this week."
Lancaster also revealed that Ben Youngs will have a fitness test on Friday morning, with Harlequins scrum-half Danny Care on stand-by to provide cover from the bench.
Watch England take on Argentina live on Sky Sports 2 and Sky 3D, coverage starts at 1.30pm on Saturday