21 November 2023

Ben Earl to be available for start of England’s Six Nations campaign – Saracens

21 November 2023

Ben Earl will be available for the start of England’s Six Nations campaign after Saracens received a positive update on his knee problem.

Earl sustained the injury to his right leg during the warm-up for Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership victory over Harlequins and left The Stoop on crutches, raising concerns that he might be facing a lengthy spell out.

But a scan has revealed medial meniscus damage which has now been repaired and England’s star of the recent World Cup should be back in action for Saracens in January.

“Ben had a minor knee procedure this morning. We anticipate he’ll be out for between four to six weeks. Overall I think that would be a good result,” director of rugby Mark McCall said.

Earl made his first start for England during the World Cup warm-up fixtures yet went on to become their best performing player in France, claiming the number eight jersey ahead of the more established Billy Vunipola and Lewis Ludlam.

However, in excelling during the march to third place, following an agonising defeat to South Africa in the semi-finals, the 25-year-old faced a heavy workload and McCall believes he may benefit from the enforced lay-off.

“We’re all pleased it’s not a serious long-term injury. I think he will be playing in the month of January,” McCall said.

“There are three or four games in January so that would be ample time for Ben to get in.

“He’s had a busy time with a lot of minutes in August, September and October, so to have a six-week period not playing rugby might actually be good for him in the long run.”

Elliot Daly’s hamstring issue – also incurred during the warm-up before the London derby – is only minor and he should return in time to face Northampton on December 2.

The prognosis on Alex Lozowski is less upbeat with the former England centre facing an extended spell on the sidelines with the ACL damage sustained at The Stoop.

“Alex has been such a reliable good player for us since he arrived and I can’t remember the last time he was injured,” McCall said.

“As far as I know it’s as clean an ACL injury as you can get which can impact how quickly you come back.”

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