England’s great hope Henry Slade is on course to recover from a broken leg ahead of schedule and is targeting a place on this summer’s tour to Australia.
Slade’s performances at fly-half or centre for Exeter have convinced many that England have a genuine world class talent on their hands and his two international appearances to date have only added weight to those claims.
The 22-year-old looked certain to be at the forefront of Eddie Jones’ new-look England side until the injury in December but Slade has told the Daily Telegraph he is healing well.
‘It looks like I’ll come back in mid-March at the moment, which would be ahead of schedule,’ Slade said. ‘Then all I can do is get back and play for Exeter and get a few games before the end of the season. If I can hit some form then I will keep my fingers crossed I can get on that tour.’
England are due to play three Test in Australia in June, starting in Brisbane before moving on to Melbourne then Sydney. With Exeter going well in both the Aviva Premiership and the Champions Cup Slade should have plenty of games to get up to speed before then if he is indeed recovered by mid-March.
Slade suffered the injury when being cleared out of a ruck by Wasps wing Sailosi Tagicakibau. It was deemed gruesome enough at the time for BT Sport not to show a replay of the incident during their live coverage.