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England duo injured on eve of Autumn Nations Series

By Ian Cameron
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Two more England stars have been injured with just weeks to go until Eddie Jones’ men contest the Autumn Nations Series.

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Bath’s Will Stuart and Joe Cokanasiga were removed from the pitch as Bath fell to an agonisingly close 37-31 Gallagher Premiership defeat to Saracens at the StoneX in north London.

The pair were both likely to be called into Jones’ squad as England take on Argentina, Japan, New Zealand and world champions South Africa in back-to-back Autumn Nations Series Tests in November. Both were called up early this month for England’s 3-day mini-camp ahead of the series.

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Stuart lasted just 17 minutes against Saracens before being replaced by Darcy Rae. John Evely of Somerset Live reports that following the game Johann van Graan said of the prop: “Will Stuart is not doing good, but I can’t give you any clarity at this stage.”

The tighthead has won 23-caps to date for England and was likely to earn more this Autumn following a dip in form for Bristol Bears and British & Irish Lions tighthead Kyle Sinckler.

Cokanasiga was also taken from the field in the second half and could be seen icing his ankle on the sideline.

The giant winger’s injury seems more hopeful, however, with Van Graan suggesting it was more precautionary. “Joe Cokanasiga is fine, it was more precautionary.”

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Cokanasiga has won 12-caps to date, but has been in and out of the England squad like a proverbial yo-yo since making his debut in 2018.

England are already labouring under a long list of injuries, which includes the likes of Jamie George, Alfie Barbeary, Nic Dolly, Alex Dombrandt, Charlie Ewels, George Ford, Sam Jeffries, Nick Isiekwe, Courtney Lawes, Guy Porter, Sam Underhill and Jack Walker.

The addition of Stuart and Cokanasiga to the casualty list would bring the total number of injured players to 14.

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