ENGLAND centre Luther Burrell has been ruled out of Saturday’s clash with South Africa at Twickenham after failing to recover from the hand injury which denied him a place in Stuart Lancaster’s squad against world champions New Zealand at the weekend.
Second row Courtney Lawes is a major doubt to face the Springboks after suffering concussion during the first-half of the 24-21 loss to Steve Hansen’s side, with the 25-year-old undergoing the mandatory Graduated Return to Play protocol following a head injury.
Leicester Tigers boss Richard Cockerill, meanwhile, believes it is unrealistic for prop Dan Cole to be considered for an international recall despite returning to action after a nine-month lay-off due to a neck injury in the club’s 29-13 LV=Cup win over Sale yesterday.
“I think it’s too early for Dan to play, he has not played for nine months,” said Cockerill. “He played just 30 minutes yesterday so it’s unrealistic to thrown him in against the Springboks, or even Samoa and Australia.
“Dan will be so important to England if they are going to win the World Cup, he could potentially be the difference. So the short-term, the next three weeks, is irrelevant. He needs to get back to full fitness and the Six Nations is a realistic target.”
Young fly-half Alex Lozowski kicked 22 points as Wasps secured a bonus points by overcoming London Irish 43-22 at Adams Park, while London Welsh suffered their 10th defeat on the spin after losing 18-9 to Gloucester. Harlequins scored 23 unanswered points to overturn a half-time deficit and record a 31-21 win over Newport Gwent Dragons on Friday evening, as Saracens dispatched Ospreys 21-9 at the Gnoll.