Saracens fly-half Owen Farrell is set to miss a 'few weeks' after sustaining a leg injury during the win over London Irish last weekend - which puts his England place under threat ahead of the autumn internationals, reports the Daily Mail.
The 23-year old has already been ruled out ahead of tonight's clash with Sale, and whilst his club have not yet confirmed the full nature of the problem, he is also likely to be absent from the matches with Bath and Gloucester, as well as the European tie with Clermont Auvergne on October 18.
England head coach Stuart Lancaster will name his squad for the matches with New Zealand, South Africa, Australia and Samoa four days later.
He is already without duo Dan Cole and Mako Vunipola, as well as Tom Youngs, who has been ruled out with a shoulder injury.
Competition for places
Whilst Farrell - considered by many as the lynchpin of the England side - will no doubt make Lancaster's 32-man squad, his inclusion in the starting XV may be under threat.
Danny Cipriani is one of the leading candidates to step into the role should Farrell not quite be ready to take on New Zealand on November 8.
In fact if Farrell was fit, the two would have come head-to-head when Saracens face Cipriani's Sale, and the 26-year old has made an impressive start to the campaign, particularly in the defeat to Gloucester - where he set up three tries and managed to touch down himself once.
Cipriani also made a good impression during the tour of New Zealand, but even he faces competition to be England's number 10.
The new campaign has seen a number of players in that role but their name in the hat for international selection with the autumn Tests looming.
One such man is George Ford, whose performance during Bath's 45-0 thrashing of Leicester was lauded by many, especially for his kicking prowess and his general dominance of the game.
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