England forwards coach Steve Borthwick says the team will benefit from the vast experience of Richard Wigglesworth after the veteran scrum-half stepped in for the injured Ben Youngs.
Youngs was ruled out for the rest of the season after picking up a knee injury early in Sunday’s Six Nations win in Italy, with 31-year-old Danny Care coming off the bench.
Wigglesworth, 34, has been called in as cover ahead of this weekend’s clash with Wales and Borthwick insists he can be a valuable addition to the squad.
“Firstly he’s an outstanding player who brings a great experience and knowledge of the game, he’s been playing at the top level of European rugby for a long time now,” said Borthwick on Tuesday.
“I was sitting in meetings with him this morning and the input he has, the experience he has, the ideas he has have been excellent.
“He’s come into camp and straight away fitted in seamlessly with the players, picking up all the calls and everything he needs to do.
Q&A with Steve Borthwick ahead of #ENGvWAL
“One thing that always stands out for me is always how fit and the great condition he’s in, for a player in that position you need to be and he certainly is that.
“All the times I used to see him in the fitness tests in the summer when we did fitness testing [at Saracens], there was always him and Neil de Kock at the front and he’s continued that – he’s playing well and is in fantastic shape.”
Asked for an update on Youngs, Borthwick added: “Obviously the first thing is he’s a player and you’re tremendously disappointed for him. He’s been playing so well, working so hard to constantly improve his game.
“Interestingly though, like he said to me this morning, it’s an opportunity for him to get better and he’s already embracing the opportunity it gives to come back physically even better shape than he’s ever been in.
“So he’s taken a really great approach to what is clearly a really disappointing situation.”
Thanks everyone for your kind messages of support with great people around me I’ll be back to contribute soon enough.
— Ben Youngs (@benyoungs09) February 6, 2018