England without injured quartet

Date published: January 28 2015

Four England players will miss the opening game of the Six Nations as they continue to undergo medical treatment.

England kick off their Six Nations campaign against Wales next Friday and head coach Stuart Lancaster is already without a host of first team regulars.

Saracens centre Brad Barritt and Leicester lock Geoff Parling are in contention to return for the second game of the tournament against Italy but are set to miss the opener in Wales because of knee medial ligament strains.

Meanwhile Bath centre Kyle Eastmond and Northampton flank Tom Wood will also remain on the sidelines and both will undergo further specialist assessments later in the week.

“The current situation is that Geoff Parling and Brad Barritt are in pretty good shape really,” Lancaster said.

“We don’t anticipate the injuries any more than a couple of weeks really.

“We will see how they go over the next 24 hours but we are pretty optmistic about Geoff and Brad.

“Tom Wood and Kyle Eastmond are going to have further assessments that are going to take place in the next 24 hours and we will have a bit more information on that after those assessments.

“Obviously the clock is ticking for the Wales game but I wouldn’t rule Geoff and Brad out of the Italy game just yet.

“I am very confident that Brad and Geoff are going to fine sooner rather than later. I don’t want to commit on Tom and Kyle because it is going to rest very much on what the specialists say.

“But Tom has made good progress and with Kyle we will have to wait and see.”