Joseph could miss rest of group stage

Date published: September 23 2015

Jonathan Joseph's chest injury could be more serious than feared with reports that he might miss all of the pool stages.

The England centre is expected to miss Saturday's crucial clash with Wales, but the Daily Mail are now reporting that he may not be back for the game against Australia the following week.

In Joseph's absence, England are expected to go with a midfield pairing of Brad Barritt and Sam Burgess, but his absence long-term would appear to leave them short of options in the centres.

According to the report, he could miss 2-3 weeks, which leave him in a battle to be fit for a potential quarter-final, but the decision would have to be taken on whether to throw him straight back in for such a big game.

Alternatively England could look to bring in a replacement, with just three fit centres in the squad, however that would mean losing Joseph, one of their best attacking weapons, for the remainder of the tournament.

Joseph has remained with the England squad on Wednesday while the rest of the players had a day off, as he continues to be monitored by the medical staff.