ENGLAND coach Stuart Lancaster’s autumn international selection worries are mounting after Northampton Saints prop Alex Corbisiero was ruled out until next year with a shoulder injury.
Lancaster is now set to be without four regular front-row forwards for the November schedule, having already lost Saracens’ Mako Vunipola and Leicester Tigers pair Tom Youngs and Dan Cole.
Lock Geoff Parling is also set to miss clashes with New Zealand, South Africa, Samoa and Australia as Leicester continue to monitor his recovery from repeated concussions.
News of Corbisiero’s torn ligament, which is expected to keep him out until early 2015, came just hours after his club boss Jim Mallinder had given the 26-year-old a clean bill of health. Mallinder played down the former London Irish player’s withdrawal during Saturday’s win over Bath, while insisting that flanker Tom Wood and lock Courtney Lawes, who both missed the weekend fixture, would recover in time for England duty.
Lancaster’s team start their final autumn campaign before next year’s World Cup on when they host the All Blacks on 8 November.