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England suffer another injury setback ahead of November internationals

England could be without Jack Nowell during their November internationals due to a fractured cheekbone and eye socket.

Exeter and England winger Jack Nowell
Exeter and England winger Jack Nowell

JACK NOWELL IS a major doubt for England’s November internationals after he suffered a fractured cheekbone and eye socket playing for Exeter Chiefs on Saturday.

The winger sustained a blow to the left-side of his face during the Chiefs’ victory over Newcastle Falcons in the Premiership and early reports have suggested he will miss all of England’s matches next month.

Eddie Jones’ side host Argentina, Australia and Samoa at Twickenham in November and are already without Billy Vunipola, Manu Tuilagi and Jack Clifford.

Nowell – who has scored 11 tries in 23 appearances for England – could join that list, according to Rob Baxter, but that will depend on whether the 24-year-old requires surgery to fix the problem.

“Jack has got a couple of fractures in the top of his check and eye socket,” Baxter, Exeter’s director of rugby, said on Wednesday.

“At this stage, it is looking likely he will require an operation to settle it down. Until the surgeon moves in and does some more investigation, that’s about as far as I can tell you.

“Depending on when the operation happens, if it is definitely required, which is looking likely, and the severity of the injury, that will then decide whether there is no way back for the autumn internationals.

It is still a little early to write him off for the whole of the autumn internationals, but that is something we will assess in the next week or so.

Baxter added: “I am disappointed for him personally. He is in good form, starting this season really well for us, and obviously he wanted to have a couple of big rounds in the European Champions Cup to get himself right in the frame for England.

“That, unfortunately, has been damaged now with a pretty innocuous and unfortunate injury. Now, he is going to be held back for the next six to eight weeks.

“It is in and around his eye. We are not anticipating any issues with his vision but obviously there are optical nerves and facial nerves around that area that an operation will disturb. Those things will take a little while to settle as well.

“I don’t want to say the wrong thing. Until we have fully got right into the crux of what is going on there…we are still waiting to see the consultant.

“I think six weeks from the time of injury is a figure that we’ve had bandied around. There is the potential for it to be four weeks, there is the potential for it to be eight weeks.”

Billy Vunipola has already been ruled out for the rest of the year after undergoing knee surgery, while Mike Brown remains a doubt after reaggravating an ankle problem a fortnight ago.

- Omni

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