England tour of South Africa
Barritt undergoes minor eye surgery
June 10, 2012
Brad Barritt has confirmed that he underwent a small operation following defeat to South Africa © Getty Images
England centre Brad Barritt has undergone surgery on a lacerated eyeball injury suffered in Saturday's loss to South Africa.
The Saracens midfielder was forced from the field after 53 minutes of England's 22-17 defeat at Kings Park with clear heavy swelling to his left eye.
Barritt took to Twitter earlier today to reveal that he has undergone a "small op" and the Rugby Football Union has since confirmed he will join the rest of the squad in Johannesburg later this week although he will not be available for the second Test against the Springboks at Ellis Park on Saturday.
Yesterday's game proved to be an unhappy homecoming for the centre, who began his career in Durban with the Sharks before switching to the Premiership with Saracens. "Brad again put his body on the line for the team and we are hopeful he will be able to take a further part in the tour," said coach Stuart Lancaster. "Our medics and the ophthalmologist who treated Brad were fantastic and they deserve a lot of credit for their swift and expert response to this unfortunate injury."
Along with Barritt, England are waiting for further news on the fitness of fullback Mike Brown, who suffered a hand injury while trying to prevent South Africa's second try, scored by skipper Jean de Villiers.
The tourists face the South African Barbarians on Wednesday before tackling the Springboks in Johannesburg on Saturday and Lancaster has thrown down the gauntlet to his fringe players. "We need the midweek boys to pitch up and play well, put pressure on us and make sure we have got some good selection decisions to make," he said ahead of the game in Kimberley.
Looking further ahead to the Ellis Park clash next weekend, he added: "The boys are certainly very positive and the good thing is we have already seen one or two areas we can fix up. The players are talking about it already and that is a good sign. They are not downcast and they are feeling there is no chance of turning up next week and not winning. If anything, this will be their motivation to right the wrongs we did in this game.
"Composure was probably the key word that we need to work on - make sure we play in the right place at the right time but, equally, when we have got opportunities to get the ball off the field we get it off the field.
"Once they were across the gainline, irrespective of how we slowed the contact down or got around the corner, eventually the hard-running South African forwards made a dent into us. We need to work defensively and make sure we win that gainline battle. That is crucial for all sides."
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