The England half-back has deep vein thrombosis, while Wales international Young has an ankle injury. Although both are expected to make a recovery before the World Cup, they may face a struggle for match fitness and a chance to impress their respective head coaches Eddie Jones and Warren Gatland.
While the World Cup was perhaps not a possibility for the 22-year-old Willis, he has still been bitterly unlucky after only making his return to rugby a few weeks ago.
It was almost this time last year that Willis suffered a multi-ligament knee injury playing for Wasps days after being selected by Jones for England’s tour of South Africa. He is set to have surgery on a stress fracture to his ankle, and will be fit for next season.
The loose forward posted this message to his followers on Instagram:
This is gravely disappointing news for one of England’s most promising players. A natural openside flanker, he is supreme over the ball, and has been touted as one of England’s brightest prospects.
His injury came at a terrible time last season, and since then, fellow flankers Tom Curry and Sam Underhill have announced themselves on the international scene and are likely contenders to play in the World Cup in Japan later this year.
Had Willis remained fit, he would surely be one of the contenders to play in the showcase later this year, and this new injury is yet another setback for a very unfortunate player.
With four games remaining this season, Wasps still have a slim chance of making the top four in the Premiership, although these three injuries will not help them. Equally, they can theoretically get relegated, so head coach Dai Young will hope the absences will not be too detrimental.
All Wasps and England fans, as well as Willis, will hope is that he can bounce back next season and return to the form that helped him make his name in the Premiership, and work his way back into the international reckoning again.
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