Former captain Chris Robshaw has been ruled out of England’s autumn Tests after undergoing knee surgery.
The Harlequins back-rower suffered the injury against Saracens and is expected to be out for about eight weeks, which means he will miss out on England’s upcoming fixtures against South Africa, New Zealand, Japan and Australia.
Robshaw’s absence is a headache for coach Eddie Jones, with number eight Billy Vunipola and lock Joe Launchbury already missing because of injury.
Harlequins head of rugby Paul Gustard told the Premiership club’s website: “We are hugely disappointed to lose Chris for a short period of time.
“Not least because he has been one of our standout performers across our first seven games this season and this period in the calendar provides the opportunity to represent England in the autumn internationals.
“I am sure he would have featured strongly in Eddie Jones’ plans for those matches.”
England kick off their autumn programme against South Africa on November 3.
© Agence France-Presse (additional edits by Cillian Cunningham)