Watson out of Bok Tests with broken jaw

Thu, 06 Oct 2016 13:46

INJURY UPDATE: Bath wing Anthony Watson is likely to miss England's forthcoming internationals, after suffering a broken jaw.

Watson's injury came during England's three-day training camp in Brighton this week and Bath Director of Rugby Todd Blackadder expects him to be out of action for a lengthy period.

"It's too early for a full medical prognosis on how long he'll be out for, but it's likely he'll miss the autumn internationals," Blackadder said on Thursday.

The painful blow came 24 hours after it was revealed Wasps flank Sam Jones fractured his right leg while doing judo while on training duty with England.

Watson's absence will deprive England of one of their main weapons when they face South Africa, Fiji, Argentina and Australia in a series of Test at  Twickenham beginning in November.

The 22-year-old has amassed 12 tries in 24 Tests and was a certain starter on the wing, fitness permitting.

"Anthony's in great hands with our medical team and we look forward to seeing him back on the pitch when he's ready," Blackadder said.

Watson's Bath colleague Semesa Rokoduguni is favourite to fill the void on the right wing with Jack Nowell operating on the left.

England flank James Haskell, back row Jack Clifford and centre Manu Tuilagi had already been ruled out through injury, while uncertainty shrouds the back problems incurred by Owen Farrell and Dylan Hartley with dates for their return yet to be set.

Jones is now set to be sidelined from all four of England's end-of-year internationals after breaking his leg.

Premiership side Wasps confirmed that the uncapped 24-year-old suffered a fracture to his right fibula during England's three-day training camp in the south coast town of Brighton.

Jones was a contender to replace the injured James Haskell for the upcoming Tests, starting with the clash against the Springboks on November 12.

The Rugby Football Union initially said Jones had suffered ankle damage, but Wasps released a statement confirming the fracture to his right leg.

"Following an X-ray, Wasps can confirm that back row forward Sam Jones has suffered a fracture of his right leg, fibula, during England training," the statement said

"The club is awaiting the results of subsequent MRI scans and Jones will see a specialist on Friday afternoon to determine the extent of the injury."

Wasps Director of Rugby Dai Young said the timing of the injury was desperately bad luck for Jones.

"It's a big blow and I really feel for Sam because he has worked his socks off for Wasps and deservedly got his call-up to England.

"Sam has been one of the first names on my team sheet this season and he will be a big loss for us, but we are lucky to have a lot of talented back rowers at the club who have already stepped up this season.

"It's too soon to know how long he will be out, but our medics and physios will look after him and we look forward to having him back when he is ready."

Jones was one of two uncapped options to start at openside against South Africa, along with Leicester's Mike Williams.

A third back-row combination would see Maro Itoje and Chris Robshaw line up either side of Billy Vunipola in a repeat of the trio that finished the final Test against Australia in June.

England are unbeaten in nine Tests under Australian head coach Eddie Jones, a run that includes a Six Nations Grand Slam and a 3-0 series win in Australia.

Agence France-Presse