England’s scintillating win over Ireland in Dublin has come at a cost as second-row star Maro Itoje is facing up to 8 weeks out as a result of ligament damage to his knee.
England head coach Eddie Jones will have to re-shuffle his pack for England’s home fixture against France this Sunday, however with two other world class locks at his disposal in the form of Lawes and Launchbury and George Kruis finding some good form Eddie shouldn’t have too much to worry about.
8 weeks would result in Itoje missing the rest of the Guinness Six Nations campaign and potentially keep him out for Saracens European Champions Cup quarter final clash with Glasgow at Allianz Park.
Jones said: “He (Maro) is going to be the best lock in the world so it’s a big loss. But we’ve got good depth. We’ve got Launchbury ready to come back in, you saw Courtney come off the bench for us. We’ll have to fill his spot and guys will just to work that bit harder to cover his gap for how long he is out for.”
England will now rise above Wales to go into third in the global rankings, and if it wasn’t for a late try from John Cooney in Dublin on Saturday, they would have pipped Ireland for the no.2 spot at the start of this World Cup year.