Lawes out in fresh injury blow for Jones

England head coach Eddie Jones has been dealt a second major injury blow as second-rower Courtney Lawes faces surgery and 12 weeks on the sidelines with ankle trouble.

The Northampton forward, who has won 85 caps, was hurt during Saints’ Premiership game against Sale last week.

He will now miss England’s six-match autumn schedule, in addition to European and domestic fixtures for his club.

It is another setback for Jones, with Sale centre Manu Tuilagi facing six months sidelined after he suffered an Achilles injury in the same game eight days ago.

Both players started the World Cup final against South Africa last autumn, and are integral to Jones’ plans.

In a statement, Northampton said: “Following consultation between the club’s medical staff and a specialist, Courtney Lawes will undergo surgery on the ankle injury he sustained against Sale Sharks last week.

“The 31-year-old England lock will require a rehabilitation period of approximately 12 weeks.”

England play the Barbarians on October 25, followed by their delayed 2020 Six Nations Championship clash against Italy in Rome six days later.

Jones’ men then face Autumn Nations Cup appointments with Georgia, Ireland and Wales, plus a play-off fixture in early December.

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Courtney Lawes: England and Northampton lock to miss autumn matches

Northampton lock Courtney Lawes landed awkwardly in the early stages of the Premiership defeat at Sale

Northampton lock Courtney Lawes will miss England’s autumn schedule with an ankle injury that will keep him out for about 12 weeks.

The 31-year-old is set to have surgery on the injury he sustained during the Premiership defeat by Sale last month.

Lawes was substituted in the ninth minute after competing for the ball in the air and falling awkwardly.

First-place England end their disrupted Six Nations campaign in Italy on Saturday, 31 October.

Lawes, who has 85 caps, started three of the four matches before the tournament was postponed in March amid the coronavirus pandemic.

England head coach Eddie Jones will also be without Sale centre Manu Tuilagi for the rest of the competition, after he ruptured his Achilles tendon during the same game.

With the experienced Lawes and Tuilagi missing, Jones has named 12 uncapped players in a much-changed training squad.

England face the Barbarians on 25 October, before completing the 2020 Six Nations against Italy and then playing four games in the Autumn Nations Cup.

25 October, 14:00: England v Barbarians, Twickenham
31 October, 16:45: Italy v England, Stadio Olimpico, Rome
14 November, 15:00: England v Georgia, Twickenham
21 November, 15:00: England v Ireland, Twickenham
28 November, 16:00: Wales v England, TBC
6 December, 14:00: England v TBC, Twickenham

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