Williams adds to England's injury woes

Tue, 11 Oct 2016 19:07
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NEWS: England suffered a fresh injury blow on Tuesday when Mike Williams became the fourth openside to be sidelined for the forthcoming internationals.

For the third time in 12 months, Williams has broken his arm, this time sustaining the damage during a tackling drill in the warm-up to Leicester's victory over Worcester on Saturday.

The uncapped 24-year-old will miss up to three months, ruling him out of England's internationals against South Africa, Fiji, Argentina and Australia.

Already denied the services of James Haskell and Jack Clifford, who have undergone foot and ankle surgery respectively, England coach Eddie Jones also lost Sam Jones to a broken leg and ankle damage incurred while performing judo during the recent ill-fated training camp in Brighton.

Now Williams has been added to the list of players who were under consideration to start at openside, reducing the options available to Jones to Maro Itoje and Chris Robshaw packing down either side of Billy Vunipola.

That would mean breaking Itoje's successful second-row partnership with Saracens teammate George Kruis.

On Williams' injury, Leicester Director of Rugby Richard Cockerill said: "Mike is in a cast and will take some specialist advice, but it looks like eight-12 weeks and not four-six weeks because of the history of the injury.

"Mike felt he had done something and thought it was just a bang, but the medical guys looked at it and Mike was pulled out before the kick off.

"Mike is bitterly disappointed. You would have thought that had he continued the way he has been doing for the last couple of weeks he would have had a chance to play for England."

Zimbabwe-born Williams is used as a blindside flank at Leicester but was identified by Jones as a possibility to fill the void left by Haskell's absence on account of his power in defence.

Agence France-Presse