Exeter's Jack Nowell. Andrew Fosker/INPHO
Bad luck

Exeter's Jack Nowell to miss Munster Champions Cup ties after suffering broken arm

The Exeter wing faces a battle to play again this season after sustaining the injury in England’s Six Nations defeat to France.

JACK NOWELL FACES a battle to play again this season after sustaining a broken arm in England’s Guinness Six Nations defeat by France on Saturday.

Nowell incurred the damage when falling to the ground after challenging for the ball in the first-half of the climax to the Championship in Paris and faces up to two months of rehabilitation.

Exeter are set to take on Munster in the Champions Cup round of 16, with the province making the trip to Sandy Park on Saturday, 9 April, before hosting the English side in Limerick one week later, with Nowell now set to miss those crucial European knock-out games.  

The Exeter wing will have the operation alongside a procedure to fix a thumb injury and his future involvement this term hinges on whether the Chiefs reach the knockout phase of the Gallagher Premiership.

“Jack’s got a broken arm so that’s going to be that six to eight week period. He’s having that further assessed in more detail today (Thursday),” director of rugby Rob Baxter said.

He’ll also be having an operation on thumb ligaments that was impending anyway. He was probably going to hang on until the end of the season to get that done. The recovery time for the two is roughly the same and he’ll get them done in one go.

“Jack’s got a chance for the end of the season, but really that probably depends on how we go over the next number of weeks.”

It is the latest setback in a career blighted by injury and comes as Nowell was four appearances into his Test return having not played since the 2019 World Cup until this Six Nations.

“This one in particular you have to say is unlucky because he’s been bobbing along this season without too many issues,” Baxter said.

“A broken arm out of the blue is not an alert for overloading or playing with an injury. It’s one of those things and he’s just been very unfortunate. He’s landed badly and broken his arm.

“Jack is frustrated because he was clocking some game time this season and playing well for England.

“But he’s a fantastic rehabber and if there’s a chance of him coming back before the end of the season, he will.”

England finished third in the Six Nations after suffering three defeats for a second successive year, heaping pressure on to head coach Eddie Jones who nonetheless retains the backing of Twickenham bosses.

Exeter provided three starters against France and, while Baxter admits England have performed poorly in the Six Nations, he is reluctant to provide ultimate judgement.

“It’s a difficult one because in a lot of ways you’ve got to say no (it’s not good enough) because the competition it feeds off – the Premiership – is a great competition,” Baxter said.

“It’s produced a number of European champions over the last few years including Saracens and ourselves.

“You’ve got to say it should be better, but at the same time you need to know what the bigger picture is and what are the longer term plans are. Unless you’re party to that, then making a judgement can be tough.

“But at the same time I understand people saying England should be doing better.”

When asked if the Premiership is producing enough quality players for England to challenge for the Six Nations, Baxter replied: “Oh yeah, without doubt”.

A new episode of The Front Row, in partnership with Guinness, is out now. After Ireland’s Triple Crown win, Murray Kinsella gives us the rundown on his team of the tournament. Ireland international Sene Naoupu also joins the panel to chat about her career and look ahead to the start of the Women’s Six Nations. Click here to subscribe or listen below:

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