Courtney Lawes set to miss England’s autumn Tests as lock faces three months out with ankle injury – with Eddie Jones facing anxious wait on Manu Tuilagi’s damaged achilles
- Northampton lock Courtney Lawes requires specialist attention on his ankle
- Sale centre Manu Tuilagi could also be ruled out for several months by injury
- The pair were injured in Northampton’s game against Sale on Tuesday night
Courtney Lawes looks set to miss England’s autumn Tests as his ankle injury requires specialist attention, as fears over Manu Tuilagi grew on Wednesday night.
The Northampton lock, 31, was taken off just nine minutes into the match against Sale on Tuesday night and on Wednesday went for a scan to examine the extent of the damage.
While Saints are unable to provide an accurate time-frame for the 84-cap second row’s recovery until next week when Lawes gains a second opinion, it is understood he could be out for up to three months.
Courtney Lawes looks set to miss England’s autumn Tests after suffering an ankle injury
England are also nervously waiting for news on Tuilagi. The Sale centre also went off early in the game Lawes injured himself in, and there are serious concerns that the injury to his achilles could rule the 29-year-old out until next year.
If Tuilagi does indeed face several months out it will cast huge doubts over whether he will make the Lions tour. Warren Gatland is expected to pick his touring party for the South Africa trip in mid-May 2021.
On Wednesday morning Lawes wore a protective boot around his right leg, and needed crutches.
Northampton lock was taken off just nine minutes into the match against Sale on Tuesday
In a social media post he wrote: ‘Play rugby they said… #ScanTime’ And later Northampton said in a statement: ‘Northampton Saints can confirm that Courtney Lawes sustained an ankle injury in the defeat to Sale Sharks which requires further examination by a specialist next week, when the time frame for his recovery will come clearer.’
Eddie Jones will now need to find a new partner for Maro Itoje in the second-row, with Bath’s Charlie Ewels likely to be the next cab off the rank.
Jones will pick a provisional autumn squad of around 20 players on Monday for the Barbarians match on October 25 and beyond, which will not initially include those involved in the Premiership play-offs.
England star Manu Tuilagi winces after injuring his achilles at Franklin’s Gardens