England will have to call up a replacement for Ben Youngs after the Leicester scrum-half sustained knee ligament damage in the 46-15 NatWest Six Nations victory over Italy.
Youngs was forced off after nine minutes at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday when his leg was caught at an awkward angle, and he will undergo a scan to assess the extent of the damage, with the 28-year-old expected to miss at least Saturday’s clash with Wales at Twickenham.
Having relied on just two players at scrum-half for virtually his entire reign, Eddie Jones will finally have to summon a third option, and just whom that may be has got everyone talking.
Well, the answer could have been revealed.
Richard Wigglesworth of Saracens is the likely reinforcement to supply cover for Danny Care, who is now likely to be the first choice for Jones.
“Ben will have an examination, so we’ll know more after that,” head coach Eddie Jones said.
“He’s unlikely to be available for the Wales game. It’s too early to make any sort of prediction, but I’m always optimistic.”
With Youngs likely to miss a large portion, if not all, of the Six Nations, Jones will have to call up another scrum-half, which is something he hasn't had to do before.
In steps Wigglesworth, supposedly.
Elsewhere on Sunday, number eight Sam Simmonds and winger Anthony Watson crossed twice each in a seven-try rout of Italy, whose endeavour was not reflected in the scoreline, and Jones was delighted by their contributions.
“Sam’s a good, young lad with a great set of skills. If he was a cricketer he’d be playing Twenty20. He’s a bit different – he’s fast and runs good lines,” Jones said.
“He’s a completely humble boy who just gets on with it. He’s fitted into the team well.
“He’s different to Billy Vunipola and Nathan Hughes and sometimes it takes sides a bit of time to adjust to that, but our adjustment was good. At the end of the game we played some lovely rugby.
“Watson got the Maserati out of the car park. He’s got great pace. You look at him and Jonny May on the wing, we’ve got close to probably the quickest wingers in the world. And they’re only going to get quicker.”
With both England and Wales winning during the opening weekend, all eyes will be on Twickenham this weekend to see who can maintain the winning start.
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