Joe Simpson, whose hopes of featuring in the Six Nations this year were dashed by a serious shoulder injury, suffered further disappointment on Monday when he was ruled out of England’s summer tour with an untimely hamstring strain.
Simpson, 21, will be doubly frustrated because he picked up the injury during a seven-minute appearance against the Barbarians on Sunday when he replaced David Strettle on the wing and scarcely featured in the game.
When he reported lame after the game manager Martin Johnson had little choice but to play safe and call in the fully fit Hodgson from the England Saxons squad. Although England are embarking on a longer summer tour than usual, time is still of the essence and Simpson would undoubtedly have been earmarked to play in some capacity against the Australian Barbarians in the tour opener a week on Tuesday in Perth.
All of which represents an undeniable setback for Simpson, a star of various England age-group teams, who was really hitting his stride at senior level when he suffered a dislocated shoulder against Harlequins at the end of December.