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England’s Jack Nowell set to miss Australia and Argentina Tests

The Guardian logo The Guardian 09/10/2017 Robert Kitson
Exeter Chiefs’ Jack Nowell with the black eye picked up against Newcastle Falcons. © JMP/Rex/Shutterstock Exeter Chiefs’ Jack Nowell with the black eye picked up against Newcastle Falcons.

England’s autumn international plans are facing further disruption with Exeter’s Jack Nowell the latest player to be forced out through injury. The British & Irish Lions winger is still undergoing checks after he sustained a blow to his left cheek and it is understood he is unlikely to resume playing for at least five weeks, ruling him out of the November Tests against Argentina and Australia.

Nowell, who has scored 11 tries in 31 Tests for England, was hurt in the first-half of the Chiefs’ 34-24 win against Newcastle and his left eye remains badly swollen. Scans are still being carried out to determine the full extent of the damage but the 24-year-old Cornishman is a certain non-starter for his club’s opening two European Champions Cup pool games, against Glasgow Warriors and Montpellier this month.

His absence will be keenly felt by the domestic champions, who are eager to make a fast start to their European campaign, and also extends England’s injury list with their opening autumn Test against Argentina a month away. Billy Vunipola, Manu Tuilagi and Jack Clifford have been ruled out of the autumn series, with Exeter’s Luke Cowan-Dickie and Wasps’ Tommy Taylor among other recuperating squad members.

England’s head coach, Eddie Jones, does at least have plenty of wing cover with Jonny May, Anthony Watson, Elliot Daly and Marland Yarde all vying for starting places against the Pumas on 11 November. Exeter’s injury problems are also easing slightly with the wing James Short and the No8 Thomas Waldrom back in full training this week.


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