Autumn Absentees: England And Wales Dealt Further Blows Ahead Of International Fixtures

Ed Angeli

Heading into the winter months is tough; the mornings are darker, the days are longer, but, the shining light at the end of the tunnel is the autumn internationals. The Southern Hemisphere sides come over to Europe as they try and deal with the British weather and rugby where box kicking and set-pieces become a regular for 80 minutes.

But we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Warren Gatland’s Wales face the top three sides with fixtures against Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa all taking place at the Principality Stadium. The chopping and changing of ‘Gatland Rule’ has not been ideal preparation for the former Lions boss, as the WRU look to make the criteria as black and white as possible.

One man who the new changes will benefit is Northampton’s Geroge North who already has 76 caps for Wales at the age of 25. However, the winger won’t  be adding to his cap count following a sprain on his posterior cruciate ligament which the 25-year-old suffered in the hammering against Saracens:

“George North suffered a sprain to his posterior cruciate ligament against Saracens which will require 6-8 weeks rehabilitation,”

— Northampton Statement

Elsewhere, England’s Ben Te’o looks to be joining North with a spell on the sidelines as the centre has been ruled out for a month with an ankle injury. It’s another set back for Eddie Jones as Te’o already joins an extensive injury list.

The Worcester man had an impressive tour with the Lions with a notable performance against Sonny BIll Williams in the first test; it adds a further headache for Jones in midfield for England with Manu Tuilagi also missing through injury.

Te’o’s injury is likely to see Jones return to the Farrell-Joseph combination in midfield, despite Joseph’s shock omission from the EPS in September. The pair worked well in last year’s Six Nations and the balance of the two with defensive duties and flair could be the ingredient for success in the up-and-coming internationals.

 

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