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England rugby team hit hard by injuries

England hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie has been ruled out of next month’s rugby internationals with an ankle injury while winger Anthony Watson will also be sidelined after rupturing his ACL.

Cowan-Dickie, who has won 31 caps for England, sustained the injury during Exeter Chiefs’ Premiership win over Wasps on Saturday.

Saracens hooker Jamie George was among the high-profile names omitted from coach Eddie Jones’ 34-man squad for the November internationals but has now been recalled before England travel to Jersey on October 25 for a five-day training camp.

Bath’s Watson suffered the injury in Sunday’s Premiership loss to Saracens, with Harlequins’ Joe Marchant called up as his replacement.

England play Tonga on November 6 before facing Australia and South Africa, all at Twickenham.

The only ray of light on an otherwise bleak afternoon was that Maro Itoje’s shoulder injury, incurred at the Recreation Ground on Sunday, is not serious and he should be available to face Tonga.

Itoje is being monitored daily and he has yet to be ruled out of this weekend’s match against Wasps.

Otherwise, Jones must now revise his plans after losing two guaranteed starters – both of them Test Lions.

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