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Fears for Mears

England hooker Lee Mears could be out of contention for this weekend's RBS 6 Nations game against Wales after suffering a bicep injury.

The Bath forward has not been able to make either of Stuart Lancaster's opening two matchday squads in the competition so far, and may be absent from this weekend's game at Twickenham against the unbeaten Welsh.

Harlequins' Chris Brooker has been called up as cover.

"Lee Mears has got a bit of a bicep hematoma, as they have described it, at the moment," England's interim head coach said.

"He has gone for a scan today so we will wait and see what happens. He has (had) two bicep injuries before so we want to be careful.

"He is still at Bath. We have brought Chris Brooker in from Quins. He arrived this (Monday) morning and will stay with us until tomorrow afternoon."

Gloucester winger Charlie Sharples, who is also yet to feature in the Six Nations, is another doubt for Saturday's game after suffering a dead leg in training.

But Lancaster was encouraged with Manu Tuilagi's performance for Leicester against Saracens and is considering whether to give the controversial centre a starting place.

Tuilagi was fined on two occasions during the World Cup in New Zealand - firstly for wearing a sponsored gumshield, and then for jumping off a ferry in Auckland. He has not played for England since that tournament, thanks mainly to a shattered eye-socket and a hamstring injury.

"Manu has had such limited game time since the World Cup so it was a good chance for him to get another 80 minutes under his belt," Lancaster said. "At that level, in that quality of a game, it was just a great opportunity for him to play another game. We were pleased for him and how he played. He did a lot of things well. I am pleased with the way that it went."


From Belfast Telegraph