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Huge blow for Newcastle as England back-rower Wilson has surgery

By Chris Jones

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England and Newcastle flanker Mark Wilson will be out of action for up to twelve weeks after undergoing knee surgery, meaning he will miss his country’s autumn internationals and face a battle over the winger to regain lost ground to be considered for the Six Nations squad.  

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Falcons skipper Wilson was spotted on crutches at Kingston Park for last Sunday’s Gallagher Premiership season opener versus Harlequins and club boss Dean Richards confirmed the bad news about his back-rower at the weekly Newcastle media briefing on Wednesday.

“Mark had a meniscus tear that was operated on. It will take eight to twelve weeks to heal, it will be in that time range,” explained Richards. “It has been grumbling for some time and we were keen to get it sorted one way or another. Hopefully, it is now resolved, we are on top of it and Mark can get back to his best.”

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While Wilson will be marked absent for this weekend’s trip to Bath and for many weeks to come, Scotland flanker Gary Graham is now fit to rejoin the squad along with rookie England back-rower Callum Chick who was one of four Falcons players named this week in Eddie Jones’ 45-strong strong for a mini-training camp next week. Trevor Davison, Jamie Blamire and Adam Radwan were the other inclusions.

Earlier this year, England boss Jones had outlined his admiration for Wilson. “He is one of those players that didn’t have the escalator through the pathway. He had to fight his way all the way. He was in the academy, got kicked out of the academy, he went to university, played university rugby, so rugby means a lot to him and he is a fighter, mate, he’s a 100 per cent fighter.”

Ahead of Newcastle’s Saturday trip to Bath, Richards added that he had sought an explanation from the referees’ department at the RFU for some refereeing decisions in the 26-20 loss to champions Harlequins. He believed that some tries that his players merited were not awarded last weekend.

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“We have asked about those decisions and there is still some clarity to come. There was the one where Will Welch was penalised and then Carl Ferns went over and the referee couldn’t see it. If he is held and there is a question mark then should the opposition be given a goal-line drop-out? That is what we are querying, and we do feel the Will Welch penalty was harsh.”

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Huge blow for Newcastle as England back-rower Wilson has surgery

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