Leicester flanker Mike Williams has been ruled out of England’s autumn series after breaking his arm.
Williams was being considered at openside by Eddie Jones but now faces up to three months on the sidelines with the injury sustained while warming up before last Saturday’s victory over Worcester.
“Mike is in a cast and will take some specialist advice, but it looks like 8-12 weeks,” Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill said.
It is the third time in a year that Williams has sustained the same injury, resulting in a lengthier period of rehabilitation that would otherwise have been four to six weeks.
“Mike felt he had done something and thought it was just a bang, but the medical guys looked at it and Mike was pulled out before the kick off,” Cockerill said.
“Mike is bitterly disappointed. You would have thought that had he continued the way he has been doing for the last couple of weeks he would have had a chance to play for England.”
England have suffered a second injury blow ahead of the autumn internationals with Anthony Watson sustaining a broken jaw.
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 weeks” with a quad tear.
The news means England have lost four players for the entire autumn series who were being considered at openside.
James Haskell and Jack Clifford have succumbed to foot and ankle injuries, while Sam Jones broke his leg while practising judo during the recent ill-fated training camp in Brighton.
Of the back row permutations being considered by Eddie Jones, the only option left available is Maro Itoje and Chris Robshaw packing down either side of Billy Vunipola.
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