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Brown out of South Africa tour, Abendanon called up

10 June 2012

  • Brown out of tour so Abendanon is called up
  • Eye injury to keep Barritt out of second Test in Johannesburg
England full back Mike Brown in action against South Africa during the first Test in Durban

Photo: Getty Images

England full back Mike Brown has been ruled out of the South Africa tour with a thumb injury so Nick Abendanon has been called up as his replacement.

Harlequins No.15 Brown suffered a fracture and ligament damage to his right thumb when Jean de Villiers scored the game’s second try in the 61st minute of England’s 22-17 defeat in Durban.

The news is a bitter blow for the 26-year-old, who will return to England later this week for further medical consultation, after receiving acclaim for his solidity under a barrage of South Africa high kicks on Saturday.

Bath Rugby’s Abendanon is currently in Johannesburg after the wedding of former Bath Rugby team-mate Pieter Dixon and England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster hope to have the 25-year-old available to train by tomorrow.

But first Lancaster explained his sadness for Brown and said he should remember what a fantastic season he has had in becoming a Premiership Champion and earning a first Test start in four years against the Springboks.

Bath Rugby full back Nick Abendanon, who has been called into the England squad for the South Africa tour as an injury replacement for Mike Brown

Photo: Getty Images

Lancaster said: “Our best wishes to Mike. He did really well on Saturday and is very disappointed to be out of the tour but he must remember he has had a fantastic season and should be rightly proud of all that he has achieved.

“Nick is next in line from the Saxons and the fact that he is already here and can slot straight into training is a bonus.”

Meanwhile, England centre Brad Barritt underwent minor surgery this morning to repair a tear to his left eyeball sustained in the 54th minute of the match at Kings Park.

The Saracens man will remain, out of hospital, in Durban to recover and is expected to join up with the tour party in Johannesburg at the end of the week. He is out of the second Test against South Africa on Saturday, June 16 but should be available for the final match in the series in Port Elizabeth a week later.

England centre Brad Barritt receives treatment on the pitch for his injured eye

Photo: Getty Images

Lancaster added: "Brad again put his body on the line for the team and we are hopeful he will be able to take a further part in the tour.

“Our medics and the ophthalmologist who treated Brad were fantastic and they deserve a lot of credit for their swift and expert response to this unfortunate injury.”

The England team to play the Southern Barbarians in Kimberley on Wednesday will be announced on RFU.com at 4.30pm (3.30pm BST) tomorrow.