Nowell sidelined by cheek fractures
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