World Cup Diary – Ashton makes us wait

Brian Ashton was widely expected to make further cuts to his 40-man training squad last week, but it looks as though he is continuing to hedge his bets.

England will face Wales at the weekend at Twickenham, and the England coach is likely to use the game to test the fitness of several players returning from injury.  After the game, there may be an announcement about the next group of players to be dismissed, prior to the naming of the final 30 by August 14th.

All eyes will be on Dan Ward-Smith, the untested hope of English rugby, and whether he can recover from his knee injury in time to make an impact at the World Cup and rescue England’s dimming chances.