Growing injury list leaves Jones with selection headache

Date published: September 27 2016

WORCESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 09:  Eddie Jones, the England head coach looks on during the Aviva Premiership match between Worcester Warriors and Gloucester at Sixways Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Worcester, England.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Eddie Jones has some tough selection calls to make when he announces his training squad for the November Tests as England’s injury list grows.

A total of 11 England players are out injured, including seven of the 23 who played in England’s third Test against Australia in June. Jones is due to name his 45-man squad on Friday.

Manu Tuilagi (groin), James Haskell (toe) and Jack Clifford (ankle) have already been ruled out of the November Tests. Jonny May (knee), Jack Nowell (thumb), Owen Farrell (back) and George Kruis (back) haven’t played yet this season and are doubtful.

England captain Dylan Hartley was forced off with a back injury in Northampton’s round two win over Bristol while Jonathan Joseph (thigh) was a late withdrawal from the Bath side that lost at Leicester.

Harlequins duo Joe Marler (concussion) and Danny Care (ribs) also picked up knocks in their win over Saracens. Marler will go through the return-to-play protocols while Care will get further clarity on his injury this week.

Farrell and Kruis are expected to return to action in the next few weeks with Kruis expected to face Bristol on Friday. But Saracens coach Mark McCall is not keen on rushing Farrell back to action.

“Owen is getting closer and closer, but with the length of the season it’s just madness to make a short term decision that might have long-term implications, so we’ll do the right thing,” McCall said.

“He did all the training last week, he just didn’t feel quite right and we’ll wait until he feels completely right in his own head before we play him. He’s mad keen to play.”

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