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Croft earns call-up to England squad
BASINGSTOKE-BORN rugby star Tom Croft has been recalled to the England squad to face Italy in Sunday’s crunch Six Nations clash at Twickenham (kick-off 3pm).
It is a remarkable comeback for the Leicester Tigers ace, who has been sidelined for the past eight months with a broken neck and was told he was close to being paralysed.
However, after being called into the squad by Stuart Lancaster, and with injuries to both Owen Farrell and Ben Morgan, Croft could be in line for a shock start as England look to secure a first Grand Slam in a decade.
Lancaster said: “He was a British Lion in 2009 and outstanding in the Six Nations last year. He brings a lot, it’s a big plus.”
It completes a memorable week for the 27-year-old from Kingsclere, who wrote his name into the history books after making his 100th start for Leicester in their 48-10 Aviva Premiership win over Sale Sharks last weekend.
In achieving the century, Croft joins greats such as Martin Johnson, Rory Underwood and Sir Clive Woodward.
He said: “Just to have 100 starts for this club is massive. It is always something I saw growing up through the club – players with 100 starts who were really established as a real part of the club.”