England will be without Owen Farrell for their clash with Wales on Friday week. Dan Sheridan/INPHO
Physical Toll

Farrell to miss England's entire Six Nations campaign as injuries mount

Joe Schmidt is not the only coach with worrying injury problems.

JOE SCHMIDT HAS a handful of injury concerns 11 days out from Ireland’s Six Nations opener against Italy in Rome, but he’s not the only head coach who is having to deal with the frustrating realities of a highly physical sport.

England and Scotland are in similar positions, with negative injury news coming from both camps today.

England head coach Stuart Lancaster will be without Owen Farrell for the entire tournament, the out-half having suffered knee damage playing for Saracens against Clermont last weekend.

Bath’s George Ford is expected to wear 10 for England this year, but Farrell’s injury means Stephen Myler and Danny Cipriani will now compete for the back-up bench position.

Farrell has suffered a “high-grade medial ligament strain,” meaning he is set for a long spell out of the game.

Lancaster yesterday added Leicester’s Tom Croft, a Lion in 2013 and 2009, and Northampton lock Christian Day to his Six Nations training squad after injuries to two potentially key forwards.

Second row Geoff Parling suffered a knee issue during Leicester’s loss to Ulster over the weekend, while Tom Wood lasted just 44 minutes of Northampton’s defeat at home to Racing Métro before departing with an ankle injury.

Lancaster is also waiting on news around injuries to midfielders Brad Barritt [knee] and Kyle Eastmond [shoulder]. Furthermore, Northampton centre Luther Burrell suffered concussion against Racing but it is hoped he will be back in training by Friday.

EnglandÕs Brad Barritt 29/11//2014 Barritt is a doubt for England. Inpho / Billy Stickland Inpho / Billy Stickland / Billy Stickland

England are already without the likes of Joe Launchbury, Courtney Lawes, Manu Tuilagi and Ben Morgan for the Wales game.

Meanwhile, Scotland head coach Vern Cotter will be without David Denton and Sean Maitland for the start of the championship, both having been ruled out through injury this morning.

Dynamic number eight Denton sustained a tear in his calf muscle during Edinburgh’s win over Bordeaux in the Challenge Cup on Friday evening, while wing Maitland damaged a shoulder during Glasgow’s defeat to Bath in the Champions Cup on Sunday.

Both players have returned to their clubs to rehab the injuries, although Cotter is hopeful that Denton and Maitland will come into the frame for selection later in the tournament.

Sean Maitland is tackled by Cian Healy and Peter O'Mahony Sean Maitland will miss the opening games for Scotland. Billy Stickland / INPHO Billy Stickland / INPHO / INPHO

France have called Clermont scrum-half Morgan Parra up to their training squad after an injury to exciting Racing Métro fullback Brice Dulin, while La Rochelle Loann Goujon has also been training with Philippe Saint-André’s group due to an injury to Toulouse number eight Louis Picamoles.

Picamoles will miss France’s opening game against Scotland on 7 February due to a thigh injury, while Bayonne number eight Charles Ollivon has also been ruled out.

Toulon’s Sébastien Tillous-Borde is currently sidlined with heavy bruising of the knee, but has not been replaced at this stage and is expected back in training within days.

Originally published 11.30, updated 15.05.

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