Six Nations 2015: England wait on Owen Farrell injury news
Stuart Lancaster handed another injury scare as four England squad members pick up knocks during European rugby action
Owen Farrell is the latest England international to give Stuart Lancaster an injury scare as went off injured in Saracens’ 18-6 defeat at Clermont Auvergne.
The outside-half lasted 19 minutes of the European Champions Cup clash before twisting his left knee in a collision with Clermont flanker Julien Bardy (pictured) at the Stade Marcel-Michelin.
It’s complicated with knee injuries. Sometimes you can [walk off without a limp] and it’s more serious than it looks, but we’ll get it looked after
Farrell is set to join up the with rest of his England colleagues at their training base in Bagshot on Monday and the England coaching staff will hope that assessments don’t rule their talisman out of the start of the Six Nations.
“It’s a knee injury and we don’t know the full extent of it yet,” said Saracens director of rugby, Mark McCall.
“It’s complicated with knee injuries. Sometimes you can [walk off without a limp] and it’s more serious than it looks, but we’ll get it looked after and we’ll know about it in the next few days.”
Wales, their opponents on Friday 6 February at the Millennium Stadium, enjoyed a more comfortable weekend with many Wales internationals rested or coming through unscathed, but Lancaster saw at least four of his players depart matches early with injuries.
Earlier on Sunday, Bath centre Kyle Eastmond injured his shoulder in their 20-15 win over Glasgow Warriors at The Rec, which secured them a place in the quarter-finals, but the player seemed content to play on and aggrieved when the club’s medics ordered him off.
Eastmond had taken a shoulder knock the week before in their thumping win over Toulouse, but Bath head coach Mike Ford believes that the move to replace him was precautionary and he should be good for the Six Nations.
“He says he is fine and we don’t think it is too bad,” Ford said.
“The doctor was pretty adamant that he had to come off and it was the right thing to do.”
It wasn’t much better for England on Saturday as influential Leicester Tigers lock Geoff Parling departed with an MCL problem and could be out for several weeks, and Northampton Saints flanker Tom Wood went off with an ankle problem.
While Farrell wasn’t assured of a place in the starting XV, having lost his 10 jersey to George Ford during the autumn, his loss will still be seen as a blow despite Lancaster calling up four outside-halves.
Northampton’s Stephen Myler and Sale’s Danny Cipriani are also in the mix and would likely back up Ford, while Exeter Chiefs’ rising star Henry Slade is also involved with the England Saxons squad and could provide further cover should Lancaster opt not to recall Leicester’s Freddie Burns, who has not featured since last summer’s 3-0 series defeat in New Zealand.
Lancaster’s squad had already been hit by the unavailability through injury of Leicester centre Manu Tuilagi and lock duo Courtney Lawes and Joe Launchbury, who were England’s first-choice in last season’s Triple Crown-winning campaign, although Lawes could return for the second half of the tournament.
A broken leg for Ben Morgan and a season-ending knee injury for Northampton full-back Ben Foden have also hit England’s plans in recent weeks.