Double change for England

Double injury blow for England on eve of departure for New Zealand.

Last Updated: 02/06/08 12:04pm

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Varndell: Call-up

Varndell: Call-up

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Injuries have ruled both Paul Sackey and Dan Hipkiss out of England's tour of New Zealand, with Leicester winger Tom Varndell and Wasps centre Dominic Waldouck called up as replacements.

Rob Andrew's touring England side has suffered a double blow with Wasps winger Sackey and Leicester centre Hipkiss both ruled out because of injuries.

Sackey will have to undergo treatment for a knee injury, while Hipkiss will also miss the flight to Auckland after suffering a broken cheekbone in Leicester's Premiership final defeat to Wasps on Saturday.

Hipkiss himself was only called into the squad last month to replace Wasps fly-half Danny Cipriani after his serious ankle injury.

Uncapped Wasps centre Waldouck now comes in to replace Hipkiss, while Tigers winger Varndell takes over from Wasps flyer Sackey.

Both men have come out of the England Saxons' Churchill Cup squad, and their moves now open up spaces for Leeds Carnegie wing Tom Biggs and Saracens centre Adam Powell.

Injury

Hipkiss had to leave Saturday's Premiership final halfway through the defeat with his cheekbone injury, and his opposite number in that game will now take his place in the England squad.

"Being asked to tour New Zealand is fantastic, and I'm very excited and honoured to have been selected," said Waldouck.

"It will be my first senior tour, and to go to New Zealand will be a massive challenge, but it's a great opportunity to gather experience and learn from other players on the tour.

Varndell finished as the top try-scorer in the Guinness Premiership this year, and will now have the chance to impress for England.

"My thoughts are with Paul," said Varndell.

"It's a great honour to be called up with so many quality English wingers around in the Guinness Premiership.

"My last senior tour was to Australia in 2006, so I'm looking forward to having the opportunity of being part of the England squad again."

England face the All-Blacks in two Tests, in Auckland on June 14 and then in Christchurch a week later.

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