The 2020 Autumn Nations Cup ‘absent XV’: Six Englishmen set to miss out

Fly-half: Gareth Anscombe (Wales)

The fly-half remains on a long road to recovery after suffering knee ligament damage during Wales’ World Cup warm-up match against England 13 months ago. There is no set date for his return.

Even worse for Wales, Dan Biggar worrying limped off Saints against Sale on Tuesday night.

Scrum-half. Conor Murray (Ireland)

Murray picked up a thigh injury in that defeat on September 4 and while Munster boss Johann van Graan said the British & Irish Lion was “progressing well”, he would not speculate on a return date. It might be good to see Luke McGrath or John Cooney get an opportunity to make the Ireland nine shirt their own.

Wales’ Tomos Williams will also miss the whole Autumn after suffering a shoulder injury in the Blues’ first game back in action against the Scarlets in August. He is expected to be sidelined for another two to three months.

Prop: Joe Marler (England)

A victim of the sheer amount of games since lockdown, the loosehead-prop has been battling on through an ongoing knee problem. Marler, who has openly criticised Premiership Rugby’s scheduling, hit the headlines on his last England appearance by grabbing Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones by the crotch. Bath prop Beno Obano is someone that could feature for England as a possible replacement.

Hooker: Sam Matavesi (Fiji)

The hooker limped off during Northampton Saints defeat against Sale Sharks. It looked like a calf injury, but there has been no update.

Prop: Demba Bamba (France)

The scrummaging powerhouse has been struggling with an ongoing thigh injury, which he also struggled with at last years Rugby World Cup. Bamba will be touch and go for the 2020 Autumn Nations Cup, according to his club Lyon.


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