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Neck injury ends Cole's season

Mon, 17 Feb 2014 07:46
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Further specialist assessment to follow
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England were dealt a big blow with the news that seasoned prop Dan Cole has been ruled out the rest of the Six Nations tournament.

The England team management said in a statement that Cole will have "a period of rest" to relieve a bulging disc in his neck - which is trapping a nerve.

"It's massively disappointing for Dan, Leicester and England," coach Stuart Lancaster said in a statement.

"But the important thing is that this has been diagnosed and that Dan gets the appropriate rest and treatment.

The injury was discovered when Cole experienced weakness during a gym session at St George's Park last week.

Cole, 26, has been capped 45 times by England and has developed into a cornerstone of their pack since making his debut in 2010.

"Our medics are working closely with Leicester's to come up with a programme that will ensure Dan returns in the best possible shape," Lancaster said.

"In the meantime, it's great to have David Wilson back as well as Henry Thomas, who has trained well and came off the bench against Scotland. This will be an opportunity to develop experience in this area."

England host Ireland at Twickenham on Saturday, having lost their first match in France before beating Scotland last weekend.

Cole will have further specialist assessment on Tuesday.

Leicester Tigers Director of Rugby Richard Cockerill said:  "It's very disappointing for us and for England, and obviously for Dan, but his long-term fitness is more important.

"He'll have time to get over this issue and come back when the medical teams are satisfied with his progress."

England squad:

Forwards: David Attwood, Dylan Hartley, Matt Kvesic, Tom Johnson, Joe Launchbury, Courtney Lawes, Joe Marler, Ben Morgan, Matt Mullan, Chris Robshaw, Ed Slater, Henry Thomas, Billy Vunipola, Mako Vunipola, David Wilson, Tom Wood, Tom Youngs.

Backs: Chris Ashton, Brad Barritt, Mike Brown, Freddie Burns, Luther Burrell, Danny Care, Lee Dickson, Kyle Eastmond, Owen Farrell, George Ford, Alex Goode, Jonny May, Jack Nowell, Billy Twelvetrees, Anthony Watson, Ben Youngs.

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