Grewcock's Cup blow

Lock's World Cup in balance

By Phil Jackson.   Last Updated: 30/07/07 8:34pm

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England lock Danny Grewcock looks to have been ruled out of the World Cup later this year, after failing to overturn a six-week ban for punching.

The Bath forward was left out of Brian Ashton's 47-man World Cup training squad because of the suspension, as England begin to whittle their numbers down to just 30.

Grewcock will now serve the ban - for striking Clermont Auvergne second row Thibault Privat in the European Challenge Cup final - from August 4 to September 15.

He will therefore miss all of England's warm-up campaign and the first two World Cup matches, including the vital group game against South Africa.

Martin Corry, Ben Kay, Tom Palmer, Steve Borthwick, Simon Shaw and Louis Deacon are all in contention to replace Grewcock in the team, and there are fears Grewcock's 69-cap career with the country could now be over.

Ashton has previously stated that he would only reconsider Grewcock's selection if the appeal was successful and so the 34-year-old looks set to miss out on the world champions' attempts to defend their crown on French soil.

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