Italian flanker Sebastian Negri has issued a heartfelt message to England back row Jack Willis, who suffered a sickening knee injury during their sides’ Six Nations Round 2 clash at Twickenham yesterday.

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Willis was driven from the field on a medical cart in the 66th minute after Negri rolled him out of a ruck, forcing a cry of pain from the Wasps back row as his leg twisted awkwardly.

It was a cruel blow to Willis, who shortly before had scored his second international try but is now facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

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Negri was on the ground when he performed a controversial manoeuvre called a ‘crocodile roll’ that while yet to be outlawed from the game, is a source of tension in the game.

“A quick message to Jack Willis. So sorry about what happened yesterday. Just Horrible and never nice to see. Myself and all the Italian Rugby boys are wishing you all the best. I hope to see you back on the field again soon. Take care and we all know you will be back stronger. Seb,” wrote the flanker.

Head coach Eddie Jones voiced his concern for the Wasps forward: “We’re all concerned. He’s on crutches. He’ll be examined tomorrow (Sunday) but obviously it didn’t look good and probably isn’t good,” Jones said. “We’ll just wait and see. He’s got some sort of knee injury and has been in the dressing room with us.”

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“It’s up to the referee to interpret that. The referee has to make the decision on whether it was safe or not. We abide by whatever decision the referee makes,” Jones said.

The incident has seen a call for change around the laws regarding the technique, which has seen a number of high profile lower leg and knee injuries in the professional game in recent years.

– additional reporting RugbyPass

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