England captain Farrell out of Six Nations

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England captain Owen Farrell has been ruled out of the entire Six Nations with an ankle injury, coach Eddie Jones said on Wednesday. It had been hoped Farrell would be fit for Eng-land’s tournament opener in Scotland on February 5 as he recovered from an earlier ankle injury suffered against Australia in November.

But Jones confirmed Farrell, who plays at fly-half or centre, needs surgery on an injury sustained while training with Saracens last week. “Owen’s had his operation, or was going to, so he’ll be out of the Six Nations,” Jones said at the virtual launch of the tournament.

Saracens said in a separate statement the opera-tion would take place later on Wednesday, with the Premiership club estimating a recovery period of eight to 10 weeks until Farrell returns.

Jones, reflecting on 100-cap veteran Farrell’s absence from the Six Nations, said: “It’s a massive blow for him personally, and for the team it’s a blow.

“But it’s obviously an opportunity for other guys to step up into leadership roles, for other players to play for that 12 jumper. We see it more as an oppor-tunity. “In today’s rugby having your best team on the field is a rare occurrence. We’re pretty used to it.” —APP

 

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