Itoje ruled out of England’s next two Six Nations games with knee injury

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MARO ITOJE WILL miss England’s Six Nations games against France and Wales, but the knee injury he sustained at the Aviva Stadium last weekend is not as bad as first feared.

The Rugby Football Union [RFU] today confirmed Itoje — who left Dublin on crutches — sustained medial ligament damage during Saturday’s 32-20 win over Ireland, allaying fears he had broken his leg. 

Itoje suffered the injury in Dublin. Source: Inpho/Billy Stickland

The 24-year-old second row will definitely miss the round two and three games, but will remain with the England squad and could come back into intention for the final two games of the championship against Italy and Scotland. 

Itoje’s Saracens team-mate Nick Isiekwe has been called into England’s 35-man training squad, as Eddie Jones’ side assembled today to begin preparations for Sunday’s visit of France to Twickenham.

Courtney Lawes and Joe Launchbury are competing to fill the vacancy in the second row alongside George Kruis.

Speaking after the Ireland game, head coach Jones expressed his confidence that England can cope without Itoje, who in December suffered a chip in his knee cap.

“Maro’s going to be the best lock in the world so it’s a big loss, but we’ve got good depth,” Jones said.

“We’ve got Joe Launchbury ready to come back in and you saw Courtney Lawes come off the bench for us. We’ll have to fill his spot and guys will just have to work that bit harder to cover his gap for how long he is out for.”

Uncapped quartet Jack Singleton, Ben Earl, Dan Robson and Ollie Thorley are part of the squad.  

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