Anthony Watson will be sidelined for three to four weeks
Watson, who missed the autumn Tests after breaking his jaw in Brighton, pulled a hamstring in Portugal last week and will be sidelined for three to four weeks.
The injury counts the Bath wing out of England’s opening game against France on Saturday at Twickenham and the trip to Wales in round two while his availability for the Italy clash a fortnight later is also in doubt.
“It’s disappointing news for Anthony and for England, but we know he’ll rehab diligently to get himself right to go as soon as he can. We’re confident he’ll be in the mix later in the championship,” said England head coach Eddie Jones.
Jonny May will start for England in place of Watson
England have not called up a replacement for Watson so Gloucester’s Jonny May will start against the French with Jack Nowell and Marland Yarde competing for the other wing spot.
The casualty count at England training has been a cause for concern amongst the Premiership directors of rugby.
England Rugby's 14-game winning streak
Fri, January 6, 2017
Express Sport recaps England Rugby's unbeaten 2016
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England won every single match they played throughout 2016, and are currently on a 14-game winning run dating back to October 2015
As well as Watson, Nowell missed nine weeks of action after tearing a thigh at the Brighton camp in October while Wasps flanker Sam Jones has still not returned from the broken leg he sustained in a judo session there.
Jones, a notoriously hard task master, revealed he had upped the training intensity by 10 per cent in Portugal but insists England’s players are not being over-stretched in his desire to make them the fittest side in the world.