Lewis Moody's hopes of captaining England against France at Twickenham on Saturday have been wrecked by a recurrence of his knee injury.
The Bath flanker missed England's opening RBS 6 Nations victories against Wales and Italy after being sidelined for five weeks with ligament damage.
Moody had always targeted the France game and he returned to action last weekend with a 23-minute cameo off the bench against Northampton. But he is not fit enough to feature in Martin Johnson's 22-man squad for Saturday's pivotal showdown at Twickenham.
England make one change from the side that started the 59-13 rout of Italy, with Andrew Sheridan returning at loose-head prop after recovering from a back problem.
Alex Corbisiero, who made his Test debut against the Azzurri as a last-minute replacement for Sheridan, moves to the bench in place of the injured David Wilson.
With Moody still out, Mike Tindall retains the captaincy as the two remaining unbeaten teams in the championship lock horns at Twickenham with a potential Grand Slam on the line.
Johnson said of Moody's absence: "He's our captain, we all know what he brings to the team and he's worked really hard to get back. Everyone was confident but these things happen, unfortunately.
"He's disappointed but we haven't had him so far and the other guys have done a good job, we're fully happy with James (Haskell) and Tom (Wood)."