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Youngs injury forces Jones to turn to new options

Richard Wigglesworth favourite to be called up for Wales game after starting scrum-half suffers injury against Italy.

Eddie Jones will have to consider his scrum-half options
Eddie Jones will have to consider his scrum-half options

England will call up a replacement for Ben Youngs today after the Leicester scrum-half sustained knee ligament damage in the 46-15 NatWest 6 Nations victory over Italy.

Youngs was forced off after nine minutes at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday when his leg was caught at an awkward angle and he will undergo a scan to assess the extent of the damage, with the 28-year-old expected to miss at least Saturday’s clash with Wales at Twickenham.

Having relied on just two players at scrum-half for virtually his entire reign, Eddie Jones will finally have to summon a third option – Richard Wigglesworth of Saracens is the likely reinforcement to supply cover for Danny Care.

“Ben will have an examination so we’ll know more after that,” head coach Eddie Jones said.

“He’s unlikely to be available for the Wales game. It’s too early to make any sort of prediction, but I’m always optimistic.”

Number eight Sam Simmonds and wing Anthony Watson crossed twice each in a seven-try rout of Italy, whose endeavour was not reflected in the scoreline, and Jones was delighted by their contributions.

“Sam’s a good, young lad with a great set of skills. If he was a cricketer he’d be playing Twenty20. He’s a bit different – he’s fast and runs good lines,” Jones said.

“He’s a completely humble boy who just gets on with it. He’s fitted into the team well.

“He’s different to Billy Vunipola and Nathan Hughes and sometimes it takes sides a bit of time to adjust to that, but our adjustment was good. At the end of the game we played some lovely rugby.

“Watson got the Maserati out of the car park. He’s got great pace. You look at him and Jonny May on the wing, we’ve got close to probably the quickest wingers in the world. And they’re only going to get quicker.”

Press Association

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