Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Farrell's Anxious Wait for Scan Results as England Injury Problems Pile Up

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Farrell's Anxious Wait for Scan Results as England Injury Problems Pile Up

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Jones Rugby Correspondent

ENGLAND are facing serious injury problems in the build up to the Six Nations clash against Wales following a bruising climax to the pool stages of the Rugby Champions Cup.

Saracens fly-half Owen Farrell became the latest injury concern when he damaged his knee in the 18-6 loss to Clermont Auvergne yesterday while Bath centre Kyle Eastmond hurt his shoulder against Glasgow. It meant four England players joined the injury list over the weekend with Leicester's Geoff Parling damaging knee ligaments on Saturday while Northampton flanker Tom Wood hurt his ankle.

Parling could be out for a month and the loss of the Lions lock is particularly worrying for Stuart Lancaster with injuries to Joe Launchbury and Courtney Lawes meaning the England head coach is short of second-row options for the championship opener in Cardiff a week on Friday. Although Saracens lock George Kruis is favourite to partner Dave Attwood, he is serving a three-week ban for a dangerous tackle so will be short of match practice.

While Lancaster is delighted to see four English teams in the last eight of the Cup the impact on his 34-strong squad has been significant. If Farrell, who will have a scan today, is ruled out then either Sale's Danny Cipriani or Northampton's Stephen Myler would join the Wales match squad while the loss of Wood could see Nick Easter come into the equation.

Eastmond appears to be the least serious of the injured players although he is unlikely to train with England at Bagshot this week.

"Kyle came off last week with a shoulder [knock], and he's just taken another knock," said Bath head coach Mike Ford. "He says he is fine but the doctor was pretty adamant he had to come off, and it was the right thing to do."

Farrell's injury overshadowed Saracens' joy at making the last eight of the Rugby Champions Cup where they are joined by Wasps, who drew 20-20 with Leinster. Both clubs finished runners-up in their pools and must beat formidable opponents to reach the semi-finals. …

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