Leicester Tigers captain Ed Slater could miss England’s World Cup campaign

Leicester Tigers captain Ed Slater undergoes surgery on torn ACL injury, leaving his World Cup participation in doubt

Ed Slater could miss next year’s Rugby World Cup after surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

The 26-year-old, who was made Leicester Tigers club captain for this season, is expected to miss the entire Aviva Premiership campaign after undergoing knee surgery for the injury picked up in a mid-week win over Crusaders on England’s summer tour of New Zealand.

Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill confirmed that the lock is unlikely to feature for the Welford Road club before the 2015/16 pre-season just weeks before England’s opening match of the World Cup set to take place against Fiji at Twickenham on 18 September 2015.

“It’s horrific for Ed in many ways,” said Cockerill. “Ed’s performances for Tigers have pushed his way into the England squad and I was very happy to be able to appoint him as Tigers club captain going into the new season.

It’s very disappointing for us and obviously for Ed because he was in such good form last season and has become an important member of our squad

Richard Cockerill

“It’s a critical year for us and for him with the World Cup coming up, and the likelihood is that he is not going to play a game between now and pre-season next year.

“He will probably spend the next 12 weeks off his feet and it will be a long way back. He has had his ACL reconstructed and he will be pretty much out for the season.”

Slater, who was part of England’s Elite Player Squad, would likely have been in contention for a second-row berth along with Joe Lanchbury, Courtney Lawes, Geoff Parling and Dave Attwood for the autumn internationals in November, but his extended absence and no playing time could see him drop out of the reckoning for next year’s rugby showpiece.

“It’s very disappointing for us and obviously for Ed because he was in such good form last season and has become an important member of our squad,” Cockerill added.

“He will come back better and fresher than ever, whenever that may be. As ever, we will stick by him.

“He is in good hands with our medical team, he’s started his rehab from the surgery and we look forward to his return to training and playing in due course.”

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