England have been forced into a late call-up with back-up scrum-half Willi Heinz likely to be ruled out of the tournament with a hamstring injury.
Heinz was visibly struggling during England sensational 19-7 win over New Zealand at the International Stadium Yokohama on Saturday.
The Gloucester player came on in the 63rd minute as a replacement for Ben Youngs, but pulled his hamstring late in the game and is set to be ruled out of the tournament.
RugbyPass can reveal that Saracens’ Ben Spencer is ready to replace Heinz and is currently in transit to Japan. Spencer was named as the starting scrum-half for the Londoners’ Gallagher Premiership match with Leicester Tigers at Welford Road on Sunday, a fixture he will now miss.
Spencer has only been capped three times by England to date but is set to make a bench appearance in a World Cup final. The 27-year-old was part of England’s 12-day warm-weather training camp in Treviso but was released back to Saracens shortly after.
(Continue reading below…)
He got his maiden international call-up to England’s tour of South Africa in June 2018 and last played off the bench versus Scotland last March.
Since making his debut for Saracens in March 2011 after joining the club as scrum-half cover from Cambridge, Spencer’s rise within the Saracens system has seen the Manchester-born playmaker capped by England Saxons and called-up to England’s elite player squad (EPS) before making his debut Test bow.
He has helped Sarries to four Premiership titles and three European Champions Cups, while his last-gasp penalty in the 2015 Anglo-Welsh Cup final against Exeter Chiefs is forever etched in Saracens folklore.
WATCH: Eddie Jones, Owen Farrell and Steve Borthwick speak with the media following England’s 19-7 win over New Zealand
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now