Now­ell side­lined by cheek frac­tures

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Rugby Union - By Mick Cleary

Eng­land have been hit with an­other in­jury set­back ahead of the au­tumn se­ries of Tests. Jack Now­ell, the Ex­eter Chiefs wing, faces up to two months on the side­lines after frac­tur­ing a cheek and eye socket in the game against New­cas­tle Fal­cons last week­end.

It seems al­most cer­tain that Now­ell will have to un­dergo surgery, a blow to his club ahead of their opening Euro­pean Champions Cup game against Glas­gow at Sandy Park on Saturday.

“Jack has got a cou­ple of frac­tures in the top of his cheek and eye socket and it looks as if it will re­quire surgery to set­tle it down,” said Rob Bax­ter, the Ex­eter direc­tor of rugby, who dis­missed any sug­ges­tion that in­ter­na­tional play­ers such as Now­ell, who was on the Lions tour, were over­loaded.

“Jack cer­tainly didn’t re­quire rest, al­though we did hold him back on a short leash at the start of the sea­son be­cause he did want to go flat out him­self from minute one. He only played his sec­ond league game for us last sea­son on Christ­mas Eve and only played nine Premier­ship matches in to­tal.

“This in­jury was just one of those un­for­tu­nate ones, an in­nocu­ous sit­u­a­tion.

“Jack is frus­trated as he has been feel­ing good to go and wanted a cou­ple of good Champions Cup per­for­mances to put him in the frame for Eng­land. Jack has started well and been in good form for us. We don’t quite know yet how long it will be un­til he sees the con­sul­tant but it looks as if it could be six to eight weeks.

“It’s al­ways a blow when you lose good play­ers, that’s why you put a squad of peo­ple to­gether, but we’re big be­liev­ers here that if one per­son picks up an in­jury, it’s an op­por­tu­nity for some­one else.”

Now­ell has had a che­quered few years with in­jury but came through strongly last sea­son to claim a place on the Lions tour.

Eng­land coach Ed­die Jones has op­tions avail­able at wing, with Jonny May, El­liot Daly, An­thony Wat­son and Mar­land Yarde vy­ing for the two slots.

Blood­ied: Ex­eter wing Jack Now­ell was hurt against New­cas­tle on Saturday

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