Saracens, and potentially England, were dealt a huge blow when star back-row Ben Earl was carried off before Saturday’s Premiership clash.
The flanker, who played at number eight for the Red Rose, was due to feature in his second domestic game since the Rugby World Cup on Saturday, but he suffered an injury in the warm-up.
Earl was initially named on the bench for the clash with Harlequins but pulled out late on when he sustained a leg problem.
Ice pack on leg
He appeared to be in real discomfort when the injury occurred and was seen with an ice pack just below his knee when the camera panned to him while the game was going on.
“And now Ben Earl!!! It looks serious from the touchline,” one user responded on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Another who was there, RugbyQuins, also stated it didn’t look good for England’s World Cup star.
“Ben Earl being carried off during warm ups. Looks serious,” they posted.
It was a dreadful build-up for Saracens ahead of their clash with their London rivals, and it got worse three minutes into the match as Alex Lozowski limped off.
Injury woes for @Saracens
Two injured in pre-game & one within the first three mins
— Rugby on TNT Sports (@rugbyontnt) November 18, 2023
Mark McCall’s men responded superbly to those setbacks, however, and utterly dominated the contest, going 19-3 in front at the breakthrough Juan Martin Gonzalez, Olly Hartley and Jamie George tries.
Andy Christie then touched down at the start of the second period to wrap up the bonus-point and leave Sarries in control of the game.
England’s best player
Those injuries could catch up with them later in the season, though, especially the one to Earl, who was England’s standout at the World Cup.
It proved to be his breakthrough tournament as he starred in every match he featured in as the Red Rose reached the semi-finals of the global tournament.
Although they went down 16-15 to eventual champions Springboks in the last-four, they took home bronze a week later.
The Saracens back-row scored his first try for the national team as Steve Borthwick’s men earned a 26-23 triumph over Argentina at the Stade de France.