RUGBY

England injury crisis: Vunipola brothers out, Gloucester’s Ben Morgan hopes for call up

With the injury list quite substantial before the start of the first round of the European Champions and Challenge Cups at the weekend, Jones has been hit with more injuries after a string of players were forced to leave the field of play.

Areas of concern:

-Number 8

Saracens Billy Vunipola eventually went off with an injured left arm in the second half in his sides game away to Glasgow Warriors and he was pictured holding an ice pack against it in the stands, having originally received a blow to the right leg. Having missed the autumn internationals last year with a knee injury and breaking his arm for the second time in England’s tour of South Africa this summer, the 25-year-old would have been high on Jones’ radar.

With Wasps’ Nathan Hughes also out of contention after being suspended for punching Gloucester’s Lewis Ludlow two weeks ago and Exeter Chiefs’ Sam Simmons ruled out with ruptured knee ligaments, Cherry and White forward Ben Morgan is hoping for a recall to the national side.

“I’m enjoying my rugby, and if it leads to anything else then fantastic,” Morgan told the BBC.

The last time Morgan played for England was in their defeat against Australia in their home World Cup in 2015. He has 31 caps for his country and has been performing very well for his local side. He played a key part in their win against French side Castres in their opening match of the European Champions Cup.

“It was an incredibly tough challenge for us. I am really pleased with the lads and how they dug in. We pulled together, trusted our plan and got over the line,” he told BT Sport.

-Props

With Harlequins Joe Marler retiring from international duty and Leicester Tigers’ Ellis Genge and Bath’s Beno both out injured, Mako Vunipola’s potentially seriously looking injured which forced him to retire from his sides win against Glasgow Warriors yesterday must have Jones wringing his hands.

All these injuries could see the likes of Gloucester’s Val Rapava Ruskin and Exeter Chief’s Alec Hepburn and Ben Moon, receiving a promotion to International level.

-Saracens Injury Nightmare

It was not only two of England’s biggest players who went of with injury warriors yesterday. Fly-half Owen Farrell managed to finish the game despite looking in discomfort after receiving a knock to the knee. Alex Lozowski picked up an arm injury too, both these injuries could potential force Eddie Jones to include Gloucester’s Danny Cipriani in his side.

Nick Isiekwe, who was in contention for his first call up to the England, went off with a calf injury. Maro Itoje and Jamie both suffered broken noses, but fought on to finish both half’s.

Jones will be hoping that no more names are added to his ever increasing injury list. His side face South Africa, New Zealand, Japan and Australia.

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