Tuesday 22 January 2019

England openside flanker Sam Underhill a major doubt for Six Nations opener against Ireland

Sam Underhill
Sam Underhill

Andrew Baldock

Flanker Sam Underhill could be a doubt for England's opening Guinness Six Nations games against Ireland and France.

Underhill's club Bath have confirmed that he suffered an ankle ligament injury during last Sunday's Gallagher Premiership victory over Leicester.

The west country club say "further detail around his expected return" will be provided after he is reviewed by a specialist.

It is understood that Underhill could be sidelined for at least four weeks, and that will give England head coach Eddie Jones a fitness concern ahead of the Six Nations.

England face title holders Ireland on February 2, and then tackle France at Twickenham eight days later.

Underhill, 22, produced outstanding performances for England during this season's autumn Tests, most notably in the one-point defeat against world champions New Zealand.

He has won nine caps and quickly become a key player for Jones.

Bath, meanwhile, say that forward Matt Garvey faces around three months out after breaking his ankle during the Leicester match.

"Bath Rugby can confirm that Matt Garvey and Sam Underhill are going to be out of action following injuries sustained in the win against Leicester Tigers on Sunday," the club said in a statement on their official website.

"Garvey suffered a fracture to his ankle and is expected to need surgery, which will keep him out for around three months.

"Underhill sustained ligament damage to his ankle, and further detail around his expected return will be provided after his specialist review."

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