England's Watson doubtful for Six Nations opener

Sat, 28 Jan 2017 09:12

NEWS: Anthony Watson has added to England's injury concerns ahead of their Six Nations opener against France next week after suffering a hamstring strain.

The Bath wing is to have scans on Saturday to determine the full severity of an injury he sustained during England's recent training camp in Portugal.

Watson missed England's November international programme with a broken jaw but was on course for a starting position in the Grand Slam champions' XV to face France at Twickenham on February 4.

"Anthony Watson will go for a scan tomorrow [Saturday] following a hamstring strain sustained in training at England's training camp in Vilamoura, Portugal," said a Rugby Football Union (RFU) statement issued Friday.

If Watson cannot start, his place could go to Jonny May of Gloucester, with Marland Yarde and Jack Nowell competing for England's other wing position.

England have a number of injury problems heading into the Six Nations, with their back row in particular set to have a new look.

Former captain Chris Robshaw is set to miss the entire tournament after undergoing shoulder surgery, while fellow loose forward Billy Vunipola will miss at least the opening rounds with a knee injury.

Meanwhile, experienced back row James Haskell is struggling to overcome the lingering effects of a foot injury.

England are on a 14-Test winning streak, 13 of those victories coming since Australian coach Eddie Jones took over after their 2015 World Cup debacle on home soil.

They are set to be captained once again by Dylan Hartley.

The France match will be the Northampton hooker's first competitive fixture since he served a six-week ban for striking Leinster's Sean O'Brien.

Agence France-Presse

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