Six Nations 2013: Morgan will be back to face Italy, says Lancaster
Six Nations 2013: Stuart Lancaster plays down fears Gloucester's Ben Morgan could miss the rest of England's campaign
Stuart Lancaster has played down fears Gloucester No8 Ben Morgan will miss the rest of the England’s Six Nations through injury.
Morgan limped off with an ankle injury during England’s comprehensive mauling of Scotland at Twickenham in their Championship opener.
Tom Wood moved from flanker to No8 for England’s impressive 12-6 win in Dublin, with London Wasps star James Haskell filling in the vacant backrow position.
Morgan will be unavailable for this weekend’s visit of France to Twickenham but Lancaster has revealed he should now be available for the clash with Italy on 10 March.
The injury is similar to that suffered by Leicester centre Manu Tuilagi on the eve of the Six Nations and Lancaster is hopeful Morgan will be fully fit and ready to return in four-to-five weeks.
Another player ruled out of this weekend for the visit of France is Gloucester’s exciting No10 Freddie Burns but again Lancaster is banking on the youngster returning against Italy at Twickenham.
“Ben will be fine,” said Lancaster. “It’s similar to the one Manu Tuilagi was out for four or five weeks with and Ben will be about the same.
“He wants to get himself right so he can push for selection against Italy.
“Freddie is further down the line, but they won’t play this weekend so it will be another week or so.”
France currently lie bottom of the Six Nations table after two defeats, with table-topping England hoping to take a big step towards a possible Grand Slam with victory on Saturday.
But Lancaster said: “It’s a bit early to say that France is suffering. There’s no doubt they have a very strong-club programme and their club teams are very good.
“If you look at their performances in the autumn, the three wins over Samoa, Argentina and Australia show France are not a bad side.”