England flanker Brad Shields has injured the foot that ruled him out of the Rugby World Cup again and faces at least another month out of the game which seriously hampers his hopes of being part of Eddie Jones’s Six Nations squad.

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Dai Young, the Wasps director of rugby, has been forced to add Shields the long list of players he cannot pick due to serious injury which now stands at 11 although he was able to report no more casualties had been sustained in the 7-6 home loss to Edinburgh today in the European Challenge Cup.

Shields has injured a different part of the same foot that ruined his World Cup chances and Young said: “Brad has injured the same foot again and it is similar injury but to the other side.

You could say it is a recurrence because it is the area at the back of the foot but it was on the outside before the World Cup and no it is the inside.

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“It is not quite as bad as before and probably four to six weeks rather than six to eight weeks. It is a massive blow because he is absolutely gutted. Unfortunately he is picking up these niggles and cannot get a run of games.”

Wales flanker Thomas Young made his first start since March after foot, ankle and calf injuries and Wasps could have England lock Joe Launchbury fit again within a week to solve a secondrow injury crisis that is significantly hampering the team. “We have to stay strong and things will turn” added Young. “The injuries are a massive challenge over the Christmas period when we have three games and we are going to have to keep our fingers crossed we don’t pick up any more injuries.

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“We hope that Joe Launchbury will be coming back into the second row next week because we have those three games in 15 days. “

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