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Another change for England as Bath confirm serious Watson injury

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by PA)

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Bath have confirmed the worst about the injury sustained last Sunday by recent Lions tourist Anthony Watson, admitting that the England winger suffered an ACL rupture that will rule him out from playing for quite some time into 2022. No exact timeframe was given for the length of the 27-year-old layoff’s but he is unlikely to be fit his country’s 2022 Six Nations campaign given the type of injury involved.


England have since confirmed that his place in the squad will now go to Joe Marchant, the Harlequins back to join with the rest of the squad when they meet on Monday to travel to Jersey.

Watson isn’t unfamiliar with serious injury, as he has previously battled back from two ruptured achilles, but this latest setback is especially untimely as he had been one of England’s rare few shining lights during their miserable fifth place 2021 Six Nations finish and his form was good enough to earn two Lions Test starts versus the Springboks in South Africa.

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What Eddie Jones said about his England squad at his Monday media briefing
Video Spacer
What Eddie Jones said about his England squad at his Monday media briefing

The seasoned winger was injured 62 minutes into last Sunday’s 71-17 hammering for Bath by Saracens and while he was picked in the England Autumn Nations Series squad the following day, it was always contingent on what the outcome of the initial scan on his knee was. That eventually confirmed the bad news that he won’t play again until 2022 and is unavailable for the upcoming matches versus Tonga, Australia and South Africa.

A Bath statement read: “Bath can confirm that Anthony Watson suffered an ACL rupture during Sunday’s fixture against Saracens. Our medical team are now seeking further advice from a specialist knee consultant in order to provide the best rehabilitation possible for Anthony in the short, medium and long-term.”

Bath boss Stuart Hooper added: “We are all feeling Anthony’s disappointment right now. He is a remarkable athlete who will put as much work into his rehabilitation as he does into his on-field performance. We know Anthony will come back stronger from this and we will support him every step of the way.”


The disappointing update on Watson emerged on the same Tuesday afternoon that it was confirmed Luke Cowan-Dickie would also miss the entire autumn series with England. His ankle injury for Exeter last Saturday at Wasps didn’t prevent him from being selected in Eddie Jones’ 34-strong Test squad on Monday, but he had to pull out 24 hours later and his place was given to Jamie George. 

Saracens hooker George had been one of the most high profile omissions from the England squad but has now earned a reprieve not long after it was speculated by some pundits that his omission on Monday was potentially a Test career-ending decision by Jones. 





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