Another blow for Eddie Jones sees youngster Raffi Quirke ruled out for the remainder of this season’s campaign with Sale and from the England’s fast approaching tour of Australia.
“He is having an operation today [Tuesday] so he will be out for right up until the latter stages of the pre-season,” said Alex Sanderson told Rugby Pass.
“It’s a 40 per cent tear in a ligament. The positives are that it is fixable with an operation because it is only a 40 per cent tear and he hasn’t got a thread with just 10 or 15 per cent of the ligament left.
“The surgeon is extremely confident that this is going to fix it and it is going to be right, that this will be good for it.
“Then it is going to come down to a couple of really important conversations with someone that young – how do we keep him on the field, someone that works so hard but almost too hard at times, how can we manage him, how can he create some self-awareness to manage himself so he becomes more robust moving forward because he is highly coiled, super-powerful, he just works until his legs pop as we have just seen.
“It was an end-of-range bio-mechanical injury at full stretch, at full pace trying to tackle Radradra on that half break. What we are saying is although it is a bit of a freak moment in the game bio-mechanically speaking and will probably never see it again, we need to make him robust enough to be able to do it and still be able to play on and at this point, it didn’t.
“It just pinged and that is on us. We need to understand how we can make him stronger and longer, not just stronger and faster, stronger and longer in terms of his muscle length. We are onto it in terms of what we can do.”
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Five players who will likely miss England’s summer tour to Australia
Below, we look at five players who will almost definitely not travel whether due to injury or personal choice.
#1. Sam Simmonds
The England number 8 is a doubt for the rest of the season and could therefore miss the summer, with Simmonds set to meet with consultants over an issue with his hip and groin.
Exeter boss Rob Baxter was cautious in revealing that the back-rower would meet with specialists in the coming days to discuss the best course of treatment.
“We are still monitoring it,” Baxter said. “There are some treatment options, a lot more is going to be known this week. It doesn’t necessarily need to be season over for him but we just need to assess everything correctly.
“Without him getting all the consultants’ feedback, it’s at what level they think any intervention is required at this stage. So I don’t want to say he will definitely be back for England and I don’t want to say he will definitely be back for us at the end of the season because I don’t think it is as simple a prognosis as that.”