England lock Joe Launchbury a fitness doubt for first Test against South Africa because of calf problem

JOE LAUNCHBURY gave England a fitness scare forward of the First Test against South Africa.

The Wasps lock was nursing a calf damage in coaching and was put by way of a fitness check by the Purple Rose physios.

 Joe Launchbury could miss the First Test in Johannesburg

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Joe Launchbury might miss the First Test in Johannesburg

If Launchbury, 27, comes via the week then he’ll win his 53rd cap against the Springboks at Ellis Park.

However England are already with out locks Courtney Lawes, George Kruis and Charlie Ewels.

So they may want all of the firepower they’ve within the engine room to face the Springboks on Saturday.

If Launchbury misses out on the First Test in Johannesburg then that may possible see boss Eddie Jones decide an all-Saracens second row of Maro Itoje and Nick Isiekwe.

 Maro Itoje might have a new partner in the second row for England

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Maro Itoje may need a new companion within the second row for England

Scrum coach Neal Hatley stated: " Joe has simply received a small niggle on his calf and we'll see the place he will get to with that, aside from that everybody is match and able to go.

"It's exhausting to inform how a lot of a doubt he’s, we'll have a take a look at what he's finished this morning. That shall be ongoing."

England will even have to vary up their entrance row after leaving tighthead prop Dan Cole at house.

So the battle for the no.three shirt will probably be between Lions star Kyle Sinckler and Exeter Chiefs man Harry Williams.

 Nick Isiekwe could partner Maro Itoje in the second row

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Nick Isiekwe might associate Maro Itoje within the second row

And Hatley added: "They've each been excellent. We've been doing reside scrums in coaching they usually've each acquired the bit between their tooth.

"Harry is disillusioned by the very fact he didn't get the chance to play within the Premiership semi-remaining or ultimate, however he's misplaced some weight and has stored himself trim and in good nick.

"That is precisely what we would like, two younger tighthead preventing for that spot. Each of them are pretty explosive blokes. They're good scrummagers.

"You noticed the job Sinckler did against France, perhaps his level of distinction is his ball carrying. He's carried out properly carrying the ball against France and Eire.

"Harry is a massive man who hits arduous, cleans out properly, a good defending. They’ve totally different strengths."

JOE LAUNCHBURY gave England a fitness scare forward of the First Test against South Africa.