England backrow Clifford returns home from Portuguese training camp
Jack Clifford has become the latest casualty ahead of the Ireland England Six Nations match in Dublin this weekend.
The backrow suffered a head injury in training it has been revealed.
“Jack took a knock to the head so what we’ve decided to do is to manage him,” said England defence coach John Mitchell.
“It’s not an HIA outcome but it’s more important to manage him, so he’s returned home early as he won’t be able to get through most of the work remaining.”
Clifford is the latest in a long line of players to be injured in England’s notoriously tough training camps. Data released earlier this month shows players were five times more likely to sustain injuries on international duty than with their clubs last season.
Concerns over the burden put on the England players were raised by club chiefs following a run of injuries with Bath owner Bruce Craig labelling a serious leg injury to prop Ben Obano with the national squad as “totally unacceptable.” Bath also saw Sam Underhill and Zach Mercer hurt with England.
The annual Professional Rugby Injury Surveillance Project (PRISP) report produced by the Rugby Football Union (RFU), Premiership Rugby (PRL) and the Rugby Players’ Association (RPA), reveals that “during the 2017-18 season, the mean incidence of England training injuries sustained during Rugby Skills was double that of the study period average. As a consequence the burden of England training injuries during Rugby Skills (579 days absence per 1000 hrs) rose to more than five times the study mean (96 days absence per 1000 hrs). The average severity of 30 days was a substantial increase on the mean of the study period as a whole (19 days).”
Clifford made his England debut in the 2016 Six Nations. This was followed by the successful 2016 tour to Australia as he played a big part in England’s record-breaking international winning streak. He currently has 10 international caps and an international try to his name.
Just yesterday Harlequins confirmed that Clifford has signed a new three-year contract with the club.
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