Hartley and Lawes to miss Fiji clash
October 30, 2012
Northampton duo Courtney Lawes and Dylan Hartley are among those released back to their clubs © Getty Images
England have been dealt a big blow ahead of their clash with Fiji next month with the news that Northampton's Dylan Hartley and Courtney Lawes have been ruled out of the game with knee injuries.
The Saints duo are among nine players that have been released from the England training camp at St George's Park in Burton with both players set to continue their rehabilitation with their club and will be reassessed by the England medical team at Pennyhill Park on Sunday.
"They won't be available for the Fiji game," said Lancaster. "They are reasonable injuries. Dylan could potentially be available towards the end of the series but a lot of things have to happen before then.
"We have got to get him some game-time for Northampton before we can pitch him into international rugby, particularly if you look at our last two games against South Africa and New Zealand."
With Bath's Rob Webber and Harlequins' Joe Gray also sidelined through injury, uncapped Leicester hooker Tom Youngs and London Irish's David Paice, who has just two caps are set to vie for the starting berth against Fiji on November 10.
Harlequins fullback Mike Brown is another injury concern who has been released back to his club while Leicester centre Anthony Allen, Northampton flanker Phil Dowson, Gloucester No.8 Ben Morgan, Harlequins centre Jordan Turner-Hall and Leicester scrum-half Ben Youngs are also in line for Premiership duty this weekend.
"It has been a busy few days of training as well as injury assessment and in line with the EPS agreement coordinating the release of players, some will return for further treatment from their club and others to get some game time to put a marker down for selection for when we meet again on Sunday after the weekend's games," said Lancaster.
Lancaster also insisted that those in Premiership action this weekend are still in consideration for the Fiji game. "We will not finalise selection for the Fiji game until after training next Tuesday and so for those going back and playing this is a real opportunity to stake a claim with a really big performance."
Worcester prop Matt Mullan and Harlequins lock George Robson, who were initially called up as injury cover for Joe Marler and Lawes, will train with England tomorrow before returning to their clubs.
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