Courtney Lawes will miss the whole of England’s Autumn schedule after it was confirmed he will be ruled out for 12 weeks with an ankle injury.
It is a second major injury blow for England head coach Eddie Jones, with Manu Tuilagi facing six months out with an Achilles injury.
In a statement, Northampton said: “Northampton Saints can confirm that, 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 have six upcoming fixtures this autumn starting with the uncapped Quilter Cup against the Barbarians (25 October, KO 2pm GMT, live on Sky Sports).
Following a trip to Rome to face Italy (31 Oct, KO 4.45pm GMT, live on ITV) in the final round of the delayed 2020 Guinness Six Nations, England will play four matches as part of the Autumn Nations Cup.
Quilter Internationals at Twickenham Stadium against Georgia (14 November, KO 3pm) and Ireland (21 November, KO 3pm), an away match v Wales (28 November, KO 4pm) before returning to Twickenham for a placing match to determine final position in the competition (6 December, KO 2pm). All Autumn Nations Cup games will be live on Amazon Prime.
JOIN THE RUCK:
RANKED | The 10 highest paid people in rugby union, 2020
Keep reading to see the top 10 highest-paid people in rugby union, ranked in ascending order of earnings.
9=. ANDY FARRELL £600k (Ireland)
The first of two Farrell’s on this list, Andy received a significant pay boost when he took over from Joe Schmidt following the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
9=. DAN BIGGAR £600k (Northampton Saints)
The Welsh pivot has made the most of his big-money move from Ospreys to Northampton Saints, where he has shone consistently since joining in 2018.
8. STEVE LUATUA £650k (Bristol Bears)
Didn’t make any friends within the All Blacks hierarchy when he decided to cash in on his extreme rugby talent, signing for Bristol in 2017. Has since signed a two-year contract extension. The All Blacks aren’t allowed by the New Zealand Rugby Union to pick exiles.