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Exeter provide update on the England training ground injury suffered by Henry Slade

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

Exeter boss Rob Baxter has provided an update on the status of the training ground injury that has made Henry Slade an England injury doubt for this Saturday’s Guinness Six Nations round five match away to Ireland.


Slade caught the eye with his performance in last Saturday’s round four win at home to France but he reported with a training ground injury on Monday and was set to have it scanned on Tuesday to determine his available to Eddie Jones for the championship finale in Dublin.

Slade, who celebrates his 28th birthday this Friday, has been an ever-present with England this term, starting all nine matches so far in 2020/21, but it remains to be seen for certain whether he will be included when Jones reveals his England team on Thursday to face the Irish two days later.

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Johnny Sexton sets the scene ahead of Saturday’s Ireland versus England Six Nations finale
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Johnny Sexton sets the scene ahead of Saturday’s Ireland versus England Six Nations finale

Asked what the latest update was regarding Slade, a recent double Gallagher Premiership and Heineken Champions Cup winner with Exeter, Baxter said: “All I know is that their [England] medics reported to our medics that he pulled up in training with something around his calf, Achilles.

“The last time I spoke to Jamie Fulton, our head physio, the last he heard is England were making a decision to scan it and the results of the scan will determine his availability this weekend.

“He has been playing really, really well as the game has opened up a little bit and he has had more opportunities that highlighted all his talents and the strengths of his game so really pleased.


“Obviously a bit of a shame that he has picked up something that at the very least it’s a kind of niggly injury. We are all fingers crossed it’s not too bad and he will be back in time to be able to feature for us is Europe. Right here and now it’s nothing too serious and he is available to play for England.

“If you are asking do we have any choice in the matter, no. That is the EPS agreement. When the players are with England, their medical team on the players match fitness. That is how it goes. Obviously there is open communications with our medical team. There is not a lot of point in having a communication with me because it is not my decision.

“Those channels are there, they are open. As I said, I had numerous conversations with Jamie yesterday [Tuesday] about where Henry was and what the plan was for him. We were aware that there was the possibility that they were going to scan his ankle, his calf depending on where he started to present through the day.

“So as I said I am aware of what is going on but it isn’t our decision to decide how Henry gets treated with England. That’s standard.”


England forwards coach Matt Proudfoot later added on Wednesday: “Henry is doing rehab and is doing really, really well. He will be travelling with us to Dublin and we will give him all opportunity to be ready. If he keeps progressing it’s going to look good for him.”

If Slade ultimately fails to recover in time, Ollie Lawrence is the favourite to fill the outside centre void. Uncapped Paolo Odogwu and Elliot Daly are also options for England who have added Joe Marchant to their squad as cover and he will also travel to Dublin.


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