Another concern clouds England's World Cup preparation
INJURY UPDATE: England hooker Dylan Hartley has failed to recover from a knee injury in time to be named in head coach Eddie Jones’ first training squad for the upcoming World Cup in Japan.
The BBC reported Hartley, who led England to back-to-back Six Nations titles in 2016 and 2017, has not played since December and his omission had increased the chances of him missing the tournament.
Experienced scrumhalf Danny Care and flank Chris Robshaw are also expected to miss out on the 29-man training squad that Jones will announce later on Thursday after slipping down the England pecking order.
Care, who has 84 England caps, did not feature in this year’s Six Nations, while Robshaw has not played for his country since having knee surgery in October.
Jones can only pick players who were not involved in last month’s English Premiership semi-finals for his first training squad, because all those who were have been put on mandatory rest for five weeks.
Players from losing semi-finalists Gloucester and Northampton Saints will join the camp next week and Jones will name his final training party, including players from Premiership finalists Exeter Chiefs and Saracens, on July 4.
Meanwhile, Exeter Chiefs back Jack Nowell is also in danger of missing the prestigious event after he underwent ankle surgery.
However, according to his Premiership club, there is ‘no reason’ why Nowell’s World Cup hopes should be jeopardised.
It is understood Nowell, who has scored 13 tries in 33 appearances for England, could be fit again by mid to late August.
The Rugby World Cup kicks off on September 20 with England facing Tonga in their opening Pool C encounter in Sapporo two days later.
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