The fly-half is one of several internationals who face spells on the sidelines

Owen Farrell out for up to 12 weeks with ankle injury

Saracens and England captain Owen Farrell is out for up to 12 weeks with an ankle injury.

Farrell, who reached 100 Tests last Saturday, sustained the injury against Australia. Saracens confirmed on Thursday that he will have surgery, which is expected to rule him out of action for ten to 12 weeks.

The timeline means he will likely miss all of Saracens European group games in December and January and could also struggle to prove his fitness for the start of the Six Nations, with England’s first game on Saturday 5 February against Scotland.

The versatile back had already withdrawn from the England squad that will face South Africa on Saturday. Courtney Lawes will captain the side in Farrell’s absence. Marcus Smith starts at fly-half with Henry Slade and Manu Tuilagi in midfield.

This has been a disrupted autumn campaign for Farrell, who couldn’t play against Tonga after a positive Covid test result that was later deemed a false positive.

In more bad news for both Saracens and England, hooker Jamie George is out for up to ten weeks with a knee injury. The experienced front-rower, who had fought his way back into Eddie Jones’s autumn squad after originally being snubbed, also picked up the knock in the Aussie game.

Italy prop Marco Riccioni will miss the rest of the campaign after suffering a serious knee injury while on international duty that requires surgery.

Meanwhile, in more positive news, England internationals Elliot Daly and Billy Vunipola have returned to club training.

Saracens are currently second in the Gallagher Premiership and face Sale Sharks on Sunday 28 November when the league resumes with round nine.

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