LONDON, March 16 – England added Charlie Hodgson as cover to their squad for fly-half Jonny Wilkinson on Monday, ahead of their Six Nations finale away to France on Saturday.Wilkinson, international rugby union’s record point scorer, went off with a head injury early in the second half of England’s 15-15 draw away to Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday and was replaced by Toby Flood.
Even if fully fit, Wilkinson’s place is widely regarded as being under some threat after a lacklustre match in Edinburgh.
A Rugby Football Union statement issued Monday said: "Charlie Hodgson has been called up to the Senior England EPS (elite player squad) as precautionary cover for Jonny Wilkinson who took a knock to his head during the Six Nations match against Scotland on Saturday.
"Jonny Wilkinson is being treated and reviewed by the England medical team along with Ugo Monye who is making good progress from the neck injury he sustained in the same game."
After the Scotland match, Wilkinson, who plays his club rugby for French side Toulon, said: "I’ve got a stiff neck and I’m sore but I’m definitely fit for selection."
Meanwhile Monye said he too expected to be available to face France.
The Harlequins wing was taken off the field on a stretcher following a clash of heads with Scotland back-row Kelly Brown at Murrayfield.
X-rays revealed no significant damage but the caution of the medics, given that it was only a matter of weeks since Scotland wing Thom Evans was carried off in Cardiff after a sickening head injury, was understandable.
"I had pain down the right side of my neck and pins and needles and I still have some of that in my right arm and will be working very closely with the England medical guys at our team hotel," Monye told Monday’s edition of the London Evening Standard.
"I would love to be involved in the match with France and expect to be able to take part in full contact sessions this week with the rest of the squad," he added ahead of Saturday’s match against the Grand Slam chasing ‘Les Bleus’, which will take place at the Stade de France.
"The care I received at the ground and in the hospital was fantastic and I realise that my arguing about the need to be carried off after the injury was due to me being dazed.
"I hate any fuss but with Thom Evans, the Scotland wing, having suffered a serious neck injury against Wales, they were absolutely right to take those precautions."
Monye was released from hospital on Saturday and rejoined the England squad before their flight home.
England manager Martin Johnson is due to name his team to play France on Wednesday.
Brown’s condition is being monitored by Scotland doctor James Robson and he will have to pass a series of tests before being made available to play against Ireland in Dublin this Saturday.