England are facing the nightmare scenario of being without their two first-choice wingers for the autumn Tests after Jack Nowell was ruled out “for a number of weeks” with a quad tear.
Nowell missed out on Exeter’s 27-27 draw with Gloucester on Saturday and Chiefs coach Rob Baxter said afterwards that Nowell is facing an extended spell on the sidelines with an injury picked up while on England duty earlier in the week.
The Exeter winger has played just 23 minutes of rugby this season after recovering from a thumb injury and Baxter was disappointed with the England staff’s diagnosis.
“It is rather disappointing. He has got a pretty significant tear of his quad,” Baxter said in the Exeter Express & Echo. “He did it on the Monday training with England.
“To be fair, he was loading in a way that we probably wouldn’t have been loading him with, especially with the fact that he only played his first bit of rugby back at the weekend against Northampton.
“More disappointingly, he was sent back with us with a report that they couldn’t find any significant damage and it was just a bit of loading and he was a bit sore.
“Obviously, we have then scanned it and found a pretty significant tear — a nine or 10cm tear — in his quad.
“It is a significant injury there and he is going to be out for a number of weeks.”
The Exeter winger now faces a race against time to prove his fitness ahead of England’s opener against South Africa on Nov.12 with Bath’s Anthony Watson already ruled out with a fractured jaw.
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Jack Nowell adds to England injury woe
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