England already have a number of injury concerns ahead of next month’s Six Nations, and have now just added another to that growing list.
The latest player to be struck down is Jonny May of Gloucester. The wing is said to have suffered a ‘pretty significant knee injury’ and is now likely to miss the entire tournament as he will need to have surgery.
May suffered the injury during Gloucester’s clash with Harlequins last week and he will see a specialist on Tuesday to determine the next steps to take in his recovery.
The 25-year-old is now firmly bedded into the England set-up and this latest piece of bad news will give Eddie Jones a headache ahead of his first major tournament with this team.
Jones will also have to plan without the likes of Dave Ewers, Henry Slade and Kieran Brookes for all or part of the competition.
Speaking to the Gloucester Citizen, Gloucester director of rugby David Humphreys said that this is disappointing news but sees it as an opportunity for others to stake a claim in the side now.
“Jonny has suffered a pretty significant knee injury that requires surgery. He’s seeing a specialist on Tuesday and based on the outcome of that we will have a much clearer picture on what needs to be done.
“Most importantly it is a huge blow for Jonny to suffer an injury like that at this stage of the season but knowing him and his dedication, he will leave no stone unturned in his recovery.
“For us as a club, to lose your starting international wing takes away a huge threat. But while it is disappointing it means there is an opportunity for others and Henry Purdy will get that chance this weekend.
“Over the last 18 months he has been very good. When he arrived he would not have been expecting much game time but he played a lot last season at centre and wing and performed at a really high level and has continued to do so.
“We also have David Halaifonua so while Jonny is a huge loss and impossible to replace we do have good cover.”
Rob Lyons, Pundit Arena