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Ankle surgery rules Jack Clifford out of England's autumn campaign

Published 23/09/2016

England's Jack Clifford has been ruled out for 10 weeks by ankle surgery
England's Jack Clifford has been ruled out for 10 weeks by ankle surgery

Jack Clifford will miss England's autumn campaign after being told he needs ankle surgery that will rule him out for 10 weeks.

Clifford, a replacement back row throughout England's Grand Slam march earlier this year, suffered the injury during Harlequins' Aviva Premiership defeat at Exeter last weekend and will not return to action until early December.

"It's very disappointing and unfortunate that Jack has sustained his ankle injury which will keep him out for approximately 10 weeks," Quins director of rugby John Kingston said.

Clifford has been involved in all but one of England's nine matches under head coach Eddie Jones but just one of his eight caps was won as a starter, against Wales in May.

The prospect of promotion from replacement number eight or flanker to the starting XV had improved after James Haskell's foot injury created a vacancy at openside for the Tests against South Africa, Fiji, Argentina and Australia.

Clifford was competing with Teimana Harrison for the seven jersey in Haskell's absence, but the need for surgery has seen the chance to press his claim snatched away.

"Jack is a fierce competitor and I have no doubt he will work exceptionally hard to get himself back on the field as quickly as possible," Kingston said.

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