Rugby: England rocked by injuries (NZ Herald)
November 13, 2013, 08:44:42
England have been struck by a trio of injury-enforced withdrawals for Saturday's test against New Zealand, headed by confirmation that Alex Corbisiero has been ruled out.
The injury crisis at loosehead prop has deepened with Corbisiero joining Mako Vunipola on the list of absentees, while wings Marland Yarde and Christian Wade have conceded defeat in their fitness battles.
It is the loss of Corbisiero, a star of the British and Irish Lions' tour to Australia, to a recurring knee problem that will be felt most acutely and England will be hoping desperately that Joe Marler is given the green light to face the All Blacks.
Marler, the last remaining senior loosehead in the squad, was concussed in Saturday's 31-12 victory over Argentina and is following graduated return-to-play protocols.
The Harlequins front row is on course to recover but should he suffer a setback, England will be down to their fourth choice in the position - Wasps rookie Matt Mullan, who at the very least will be named on the bench.
Corbisiero missed the autumn opener against Australia and his latest comeback from knee trouble lasted for only the second half against Argentina.