England head coach Eddie Jones has given a fitness update on main injury concerns going into the All Blacks test this week.
Tom Curry, who went off injured during England’s 12-11 win over the Springboks on Saturday appears to be the one at most in danger of missing out.
When asked whether he’d be fit in time for this weekend Jones told Sky Sports it was “highly unlikely”, adding “He is going for an examination now and the news probably is not going to be too good. It gives an opportunity for someone else to play No 7.”
“We have got [Sam] Underhill or [Mark] Wilson that can play No 7 and there is an opportunity for [Zach] Mercer to play No 8.”
There was a more upbeat tone when it came to centre Manu Tuilagi who missed out last weekend after withdrawing late due to a groin strain, and Courtney Lawes, who has been recovering from a back problem.
“Manu is back and progressing well – we’re cautiously optimistic he’ll be available this week, the same with Courtney Lawes.”
Jones also said that Owen Farrell “should be alright” to play after taking a bang to the hip in a collision with on Andre Esterhuizen during the Springboks game. He also took aim at critics over the decision not to sanction his fly half over his tackle on the same player in the closing stages.
“As I’ve said quite consistently, I leave the TMO to make the decision – they have that much time to make the decision so if they can’t make the decision there is no use me making an opinion on it,” Jones said.
“We accept the good with the bad. Your headline writers all think it was bad so maybe you need to get new headline writers because everyone else in the world thought it was good.”
Watch: Jones defensive over Farrell is aftermath of Springboks win
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now