(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – Saracens scrum-half Ben Spencer is set to be named on the bench in Saturday’s Rugby World Cup final after being called up to the England squad as an injury replacement for Willi Heinz.
Heinz suffered a hamstring injury after coming on as a 63rd-minute replacement for Ben Youngs in the semi-final win over New Zealand.
Heinz will remain with the squad until the end of the tournament.
Spencer, 27, who has won three caps, will arrive in Japan on Monday.
Coach Eddie Jones named only two specialist scrum-halves in his initial 31-man squad, leaving him short of cover at nine.
“Picking only two scrum-halves was one of Jones’ rolls of the dice,” said former England fly-half and BBC Radio 5 Live analyst Paul Grayson.
“It takes six, seven, eight days to get over the jet lag, even if I am sure Ben Spencer is travelling in the right part of the plane.
“Could he have been better prepared by being involved with the squad more often? It’s certainly not ideal preparation.” (BBC Sport)