England will have to plan without Sam Underhill for the Six Nations.
His club Bath have confirmed he’s undergone surgery on the ankle injury he picked up in Bath’s 23-16 win over Leicester Tigers on December 30th.
The clubs gave an injury update on the backrow saying “Sam Underhill has had surgery on his ankle and is expected to be out of action for up to three months”.
Bath have set a projected return of March.
It’s unlikely he’d be back in time for England’s match with Italy on March 9th, or their final game of the tournament against Scotland on March 16th.
Eddie Jones is set to name his squad for the upcoming tournament next Thursday.
With an RPI score of 68, Underhill is rated as the 7th best openside in the Premiership, despite an injury-stricken couple of years at the club.
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While concussion has been a major hurdle for Underhill, this time it is his ankle that is causing issues. The highly-rated flanker has played just nine times for the club since joining in 2017.
Underhill joined the Ospreys for 2015/16 as a highly-rated specialist openside flanker and was initially with Bridgend Ravens as a semi-professional player alongside his studies. Such was his rapid progress that he became a member of Steve Tandy’s Ospreys squad.
He was born in Dayton, Ohio, played twice for Gloucester before crossing the Severn Bridge and after touring Argentina, he switched to Bath on a three-year deal in 2017.
Meanwhile Wales backrow Taulupe Faletau returns to action for Bath as they take on Wasps at the Rec on Saturday, in Round 5 of the Heineken Champions Cup.
Luke Charteris leads the side out from the second row, forming a lock partnership with Elliott Stooke. Jacques van Rooyen and Max Lahiff line up either side of Jack Walker in the front row.
Faletau comes into the side at blindside flanker, teaming up with Josh Bayliss, who makes his European debut from openside. Zach Mercer starts at number eight to complete the back row.
Max Green forms an exciting half back pairing with Rhys Priestland. Max Wright starts inside Max Clark in the midfield, Aled Brew and Tom Homer come in on the left and right wing respectively. Darren Atkins completes the backline as he starts at full-back.
Bath Rugby team to face Wasps:
15. Darren Atkins
14. Tom Homer
13. Max Clark
12. Max Wright
11. Aled Brew
10. Rhys Priestland
9. Max Green
1. Jacques van Rooyen
2. Jack Walker
3. Max Lahiff
4. Elliott Stooke
5. Luke Charteris (c)
6. Taulupe Faletau
7. Josh Bayliss
8. Zach Mercer
16. Michael van Vuuren
17. Lucas Noguera
18. Sam Nixon
19. Dave Attwood
20. Francois Louw
21. Chris Cook
22. Alex Davies
23. Jackson Willison
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