England injury crisis: The 8 frontline players Eddie Jones is missing
England’s build up to the Guinness Six Nations has been heavily disrupted by a series of injuries. Here the PA news agency examines the players in the treatment room.
Owen Farrell – centre
England’s captain has been ruled out of the entire tournament by surgery to his right ankle just days after completing his comeback from an operation to the same joint on his left leg. Faces eight to 10 weeks of rehabilitation.
Jonny May – wing
Set to follow Farrell in being unable to take any part in the Six Nations with an ongoing knee problem almost certain to need surgery. The prolific wing has been a key part of the backline for the last four years.
Anthony Watson – wing
Hoping to return in the latter stage of the season after needing surgery on a ruptured ACL in October. A class act and definite starter on the wing when fit, but has been hampered by a string of long-term injuries.
Manu Tuilagi – centre
Still waiting to make his comeback from the torn hamstring he suffered while scoring the opening try in the autumn victory over South Africa. Sale say his return is imminent and he will be given a string of club games before being considered by England.
Henry Slade – centre
Still in contention for the opener against Scotland on February 5 but has been unable to train this week because of what Eddie Jones describes as bumps and bruises from Exeter duty on Sunday. England can not afford to lose another centre.
Joe Marler – prop
For the second time in less than three months England’s influential loosehead has caught coronavirus and has returned home to self-isolate. Jones says he is showing no symptoms and is confident he can resume training next week.
Jonny Hill – second row
Rated by Jones as “touch and go” for Murrayfield after damaging his foot playing for Exeter. His protective boot was removed this week and after showing his best Test form yet in the autumn, he has emerged as an important figure in the tight five.
Courtney Lawes – flanker
Deputised for Farrell as captain in the autumn and was outstanding in the role. At 32-years-old, he is playing the best rugby of his career but he can not train this week because of concussion sustained for Northampton against Ulster on January 16.
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