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Owen Farrell an England Six Nations doubt as Saracens issue update

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Dan Mullan/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

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England skipper Owen Farrell is facing a fitness race ahead of his country’s February start to the 2022 Six Nations after it was confirmed by Saracens that he will undergo surgery this Friday to fix the ankle problem that forced him off Twickenham last Saturday against the Wallabies.  

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The need for an operation caps a thoroughly frustrating November for the England captain as he was forced to miss the Autumn Nations Series opener versus Tonga due to being in isolation over a false-positive virus test and he then limped away from the action last weekend versus Australia with twelve minutes to play. Now he will miss this Saturday’s match versus the Springboks.   

A lengthy medical bulletin issued by Saracens on Thursday had the injury situation surrounding Farrell at the top of its list. “Will undergo surgery for an ankle injury sustained while playing for England against Australia, is expected to be out for 10-12 weeks,” it read. 

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A ten-week layoff would leave Farrell sidelined until the weekend of January 29 but twelve weeks out would see him definitely miss the England Six Nations games away to Scotland on February 5 and then the February 13 match away to Italy. 

He is not the only England player from Saracens in a race to be ready for the start of the 2022 championship, however. Jamie George only played 40 minutes of the win over Australia and his name was the second to feature on the Saracens injury update list.  

“Has returned to the club after picking up a knee injury last weekend at Twickenham, will return in 8-10 weeks,” it read. In contrast to Farrell, who only featured in one game, George will at least have come away from England duty feeling rather chuffed that he got to start in two Test matches just weeks after Eddie Jones has omitted him from the Autumn Nations squad announced on October 18.

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An injury to Luke Cowan-Dickie resulted in a call-up from Jones for George to attend the week-long training camp in Jersey and the hooker has since demonstrated he still has a lot to offer to England at international level with his efforts against the Tongans and the Wallabies.  

Other Saracens injury updates on Thursday were: 
ELLIOT DALY: Back in full training and available for selection imminently.
MARCO RICCIONI: Will have surgery on Wednesday on the knee injury suffered last week, will miss the remainder of the 21/22 season.
RALPH ADAMS-HALE: Had successful surgery after dislocating his shoulder against Leicester, should be back playing in early 2022.

DUNCAN TAYLOR: Will have surgery on Wednesday after injuring his arm against Harlequins in the Premiership Cup. Expected to be out for 3-4 months.
BILLY VUNIPOLA: Is back in training after suffering a knee injury at the end of October.
KAPELI PIFELETI: Has returned to training following a shoulder injury sustained in the Storm match against London Irish in October.
SEAN REFFELL: Going through the final stages of the return to play protocols following a concussion last week.

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