England captain Owen Farrell is ruled out of the Six Nations, Eddie Jones confirms


England captain Owen Farrell is ruled out of the entire Six Nations, Eddie Jones confirms, with fly-half set for surgery after picking up a ‘freak’ injury while training with Saracens in major blow ahead of the tournament


England have been dealt a major Six Nations blow with Eddie Jones revealing captain Owen Farrell has been ruled out of the entire tournament.

At the tournament launch this morning, Jones confirmed that his skipper picked up an injury while training with Saracens – and the issue will require surgery.

Farrell was set to make his return for his club against London Irish at the weekend in the European Challenge Cup, but then suffered a new right ankle problem.  

The setback meant that the star’s availability for the Six Nations was plunged into uncertainty, and Jones has said that he will be absent for all five matches.

He has not stepped onto the field since sustaining another ankle injury during the victory over Australia at Twickenham back in November. 

‘Massive blow for him personally, but it’s a chance for people to step up,’ Jones said. 

George Ford was drafted into group training in Brighton on Monday.

Ford has been widely heralded as one of the most in-form No 10s in the country this season, but was not chosen by Jones for the autumn Tests. 

With Test centurion Farrell now out, Ford has been handed a chance to revive his international career, as was reported by Sportsmail at the weekend.

Marcus Smith and the uncapped Orlando Bailey were selected as the other fly-half options in Jones’ initial squad this month, meanwhile. 

 

Smith will be first choice at 10, although Jones has been forced into a drastic rethink on his options in midfield, with Farrell nailed on to start the opener against Scotland.

Farrell’s injury follows on from Jonny May’s own fitness issues, while prop Joe Marler has pulled out of the group after testing positive for Covid-19. 

May is facing a race against time to battle back from a knee problem, and will visit a specialist to determine the extent of the injury. 

He is braced to miss the first two rounds of the Six Nations, however. 

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