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Six Nations 2019: Sam Underhill ruled out of entire championship as England flanker undergoes surgery

Indy 100 logo Indy 100 11/01/2019 Jack de Menezes
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Sam Underhill will miss the entire Six Nations campaign after the England flanker underwent surgery on his injured ankle, with Bath confirming that he will not return until mid-April.

The 22-year-old injured ankle ligaments during the Premiership victory over Leicester Tigers at the start of the month, and after seeing a specialist to determine the best course of action, a decision was taken to have an operation to repair the damage which rules him out for the next three months.

It comes as a blow to Eddie Jones’ hopes following Underhill’s standout performances in the autumn internationals, and leaves the England head coach relying heavily on Sale Sharks’ Tom Curry as his only recognised openside flanker for the upcoming Six Nations campaign that begins in three weeks’ time.

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The injury is the latest setback for Underhill, who has struggled with repetitive injuries since joining Bath in 2017.

He was stood down by Bath in November 2017 for more than two months due to suffering two concussions in a short space of time, and although he made impressive appearances off the bench in the first three matches of the 2018 Six Nations, a toe injury abruptly ended his season.

His long-term absence also adds to Bath’s problems, who no sooner had they welcomed back influential Wales No 8 Taulupe Faletau, have seen both Underhill and Matt Garvey sidelined – the latter with a broken ankle that will keep him out of the majority of the rest of the season.

Bath are also without another back-row option in Tom Ellis, who suffered damage to ligaments in his elbow during the 21-19 defeat by Worcester Warriors last season and will be sidelined for eight weeks as he also requires surgery.

They join a lengthy injury list that still features England duo Anthony Watson and Jonathan Joseph, neither of which have played at all this season, while wing Joe Cokanasiga, full-back Ruaridh McConnochie and lock Levi Douglas are all absent for this weekend’s European Heineken Champions Cup dead rubber against Wasps.

Loosehead prop Beno Obano also remains on the long-term injury list with a serious knee ligament injury that will keep him out for the season.

Gallery: Sporting predictions for 2019 (Read Sport)

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