Expected early returns for George Kruis and Ben Te’o ease England’s worries

first_imgShare on Pinterest news Autumn internationals Share on Messenger Eddie Jones has been spared an early-season headache with George Kruis and Ben Te’o set to return from injuries suffered on the Premiership’s opening weekend earlier than expected and in good time for England’s autumn internationals.It had been feared that Kruis would require ankle surgery for the second time in 12 months after he lasted only 15 minutes of Saracens’ thumping win over Northampton at Twickenham. The 27-year-old lock is due to see a specialist later this week but the initial scan suggests he will return in a matter of weeks. Read more Read more Share on WhatsApp Share on Facebook … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. 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Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Premiership Reuse this content Share on LinkedIn Sign up to the Breakdown for the latest rugby union news Since you’re here… Rugby union Share on Twitter “They’re champing at the bit. We’ll probably bring a few more back in, one way or another, this weekend, and maybe a couple the weekend after,” he said. “It’s a brilliant thing for the club that we have players who want to play, and they’re not coming back looking to be rested. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t look after them. But I’d rather have it this way.”Along with Kruis, Maro Itoje also started on Saturday, but in the back row because Michael Rhodes was not ready to play from the off and Calum Clark was out with a calf injury. When Kruis went off at Twickenham, however, Itoje stayed at flanker with the 19-year-old Nick Isiekwe, a lock with a burgeoning reputation after making his England debut in Argentina, stepping into the second row.Saturday’s match is likely to come too soon for the Australian lock Will Skelton, who suffered a broken arm in pre-season, but McCall has no concerns over starting Isiekwe against Bath.“I thought Nick did a great job last weekend. I’m chuffed with his progress. He did a very good job off the bench for 65 minutes. He’s improving all the time,” added McCall. “His game understanding is good but as a 19-year-old you have to get better at mauling, better at defensive mauls. Just things that come with experience and time. But he’s pretty good at a lot of those things.” Topics Robert Kitson England rugby union team Share via Email Premiership rugby returns with a bang to trump all other global leagues Support The Guardian “It has been described to me as a bad yank to the ankle. It doesn’t look like it’s going to be overly serious. So that’s hopefully good news,” said the Saracens director of rugby, Mark McCall. “It’s going to be weeks rather than anything longer. The good news is that it’s very early in the season and he’ll be back in time to play some big games for us before the autumn internationals.”Te’o, meanwhile, was taken off after 27 minutes of Worcester’s heavy defeat at Newcastle with an arm injury last Friday. He too was due to have a scan amid fears from the Warriors director of rugby, Gary Gold, that he had suffered damage to a plate in his arm. Worcester have confirmed however that Te’o is fine to return to training this week in preparation for Sunday’s visit of Wasps.Kruis’s latest knock comes after he missed the Six Nations following knee surgery, having already been sidelined during last season’s autumn campaign with an ankle problem. In between he suffered a broken cheekbone but he recovered from his knee injury to earn selection on the British & Irish Lions tour and start the first Test against New Zealand. As with Te’o, however, he was dropped from the starting XV for the second two Tests.“We haven’t talked about it a lot. I just think the fact that he forced himself on to the tour with his performances at the end of the season, given all the challenges he had last year, tells you a lot,” added McCall. “George is just like the rest of our Lions players. He’s desperate to get better, George is in a competitive area in England, there are some very good second rows in the country. But George is keen to push on and prove himself.”While Kruis will miss out against Bath on Saturday, McCall also revealed that more of his Lions contingent will return. Owen Farrell, Mako Vunipola, Jamie George and Liam Williams were rested against Northampton but all four are due to play either at the Rec or the following weekend when Saracens take on Newcastle in Philadelphia. That is also expected to be where Billy Vunipola makes a return from the shoulder injury that ruled him out of the Lions tour. McCall suggested the No8 may even feature against Bath but that a return in the US was more likely.last_img

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