Barritt blow for England
England have lost a second player to injury for their entire autumn campaign after Brad Barritt was ruled out for around three months following foot surgery.
Just four days after knee ligament damage ended the season of Leicester flanker Tom Croft, Saracens have revealed that Barritt suffered a recurrence of a problem that first surfaced in last season's Heineken Cup semi-final defeat by Toulon.
The 27-year-old British and Irish Lions centre started last weekend's victory over London Irish but now faces a spell in the treatment room in an enforced break that Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall hinted might prove beneficial.
"We're not exactly sure of the time frame. It's really unfortunate for Brad because he's been outstanding for us over the last four seasons," McCall said.
"We'll miss him for the next three months or so, but Brad hasn't had much of a break from rugby for four and a half years.
"Getting him back in January will be a real bonus for us and he'll have a lot to look forward to from that moment on.
"We're not exactly sure when the injury happened. He injured that foot against Toulon last season and it's come back again. It's unfortunate, it's one of those things."
Barritt, a mid-tour call up by the Lions in Australia, started every match of last season's RBS 6 Nations and has accumulated 16 caps since making his Test debut in the 2012 Championship.
His strength in defence meant he was a likely starter against Australia, Argentina and New Zealand in November, but England head coach Stuart Lancaster must now field a new-look midfield partnership.
Manu Tuilagi, Billy Twelvetrees and Kyle Eastmond are the remaining fit centres in Lancaster's elite player squad.