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England's Henry Slade heads for surgery on suspected broken leg

England centre Henry Slade was set for surgery on Sunday after suffering a suspected broken leg when playing for Exeter at Wasps.

The 22-year-old was forced off with 15 minutes remaining in Exeter's 41-27 win at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday, and coach Rob Baxter revealed after the game that it was a serious injury.

Slade looks set to be ruled out of England's RBS 6 Nations plans under new coach Eddie Jones and the injury is a major blow to Exeter.

His injury was assessed when Exeter arrived back from their trip to Coventry, and Baxter said in a statement on Sunday morning : "Henry has an injury to the lower part of his right leg and it is envisaged he will operated on sometime today.

"At the moment we have set no time scale on how long he will be sidelined for. A more detailed assessment will be made following the operation."

Despite being put in a cast immediately after being stretchered off, Slade had hoped the worst-case scenario would not materialise.

He wrote on Twitter late on Saturday: "Thanks for all the kind messages guys. Really means a lot ... heading back to Exeter to get it checked out. Fingers crossed!"

His optimism conflicted with Exeter's presumption that something was badly wrong.

Baxter said after the final whistle that the leg break was "likely" and added that Exeter were "pretty confident there is something nasty there".

Fellow players rallied around Slade, with Sale Sharks fly-half Danny Cipriani writing on Twitter: "Really hope @Sladey_10 is ok... Top player top bloke! Hopefully it's not as bad as suspected!"

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