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Sam Jones' England debut put on hold after breaking his leg during judo session

Published 05/10/2016

Sam Jones has broken his right leg, Wasps have confirmed
Sam Jones has broken his right leg, Wasps have confirmed

Flanker Sam Jones will miss England's autumn internationals after breaking his right leg in a judo session.

Wasps confirmed the 24-year-old suffered a fracture to his right fibula during England's training camp in Brighton.

It is understood Jones and Maro Itoje were putting into practice what they had been taught by British Judo coaches JP Bell and Kate Howey when injury struck on Tuesday morning.

The players had been practising skills that England believe might prove useful at the breakdown and in the tackle.

Jones had been in contention to feature at openside flanker in England's November series, but must now instead wait to discover how long he will be sidelined.

Wasps academy graduate Jones suffered his injury blow in Tuesday's training during England's three-day camp in Brighton.

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) initially said Jones had suffered ankle damage, but Wasps released a statement on Wednesday confirming the fracture to his right leg.

"Following an X-ray, Wasps can confirm that back row forward Sam Jones has suffered a fracture of his right leg, fibula, during England training," said Wasps' statement.

"The club is awaiting the results of subsequent MRI scans and Jones will see a specialist on Friday afternoon to determine the extent of the injury."

Wasps rugby director Dai Young admitted Jones had suffered wretched timing with the injury after forcing his first senior England call.

"It's a big blow and I really feel for Sam, because he has worked his socks off for Wasps and deservedly got his call-up to England," said Wasps boss Young.

"Sam has been one of the first names on my team sheet this season and he will be a big loss for us, but we are lucky to have a lot of talented back rowers at the club who have already stepped up this season.

"My biggest disappointment is for Sam as he's been playing so well and I'm sure would have made a good impression in the England camp.

"These things happen, but you can't help but feel sorry for him. It's too soon to know how long he will be out, but our medics and physios will look after him and we look forward to having him back when he is ready."

Jones' injury denies him the chance, in the short term at least, to compete with Leicester's Mike Williams for first refusal on England's vacant number seven shirt.

Wasps' James Haskell remains sidelined after toe surgery, leaving the openside role up for grabs. England boss Eddie Jones wants a "destructive defensive player" at seven in the absence of a "natural" openside.

Saracens' versatile lock Itoje could yet move out to the flank, with Chris Robshaw continuing at blindside and Billy Vunipola at number eight.

Wasps flanker Jones' impending absence cuts Eddie Jones' resources once more though, with the England boss able to draft a replacement into his 45-man Elite Player Squad (EPS) if required.

Wasps' Guy Thompson was thought to have only narrowly missed the initial England call, so could now feature prominently in head coach Jones' thinking for how to cover this latest injury setback.

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