- Tight head Dan Cole out of rest of RBS 6 Nations with neck injury
- David Wilson returns to 33-man squad preparing for Ireland
Photo: Getty Images
Dan Cole will have a period of rest from rugby to relieve a bulging disc in his neck which is trapping a nerve.
The Leicester Tigers and England tight-head prop was diagnosed after experiencing weakness during a gym session at St George’s Park last week and will miss the rest of the RBS 6 Nations.
The loss of the 2013 British and Irish Lion is a blow to Stuart Lancaster and makes the return from injury of Bath Rugby tight head David Wilson – a starter against Exeter at the weekend – all the more pertinent, as the head coach explained.
“It’s massively disappointing for Dan, Leicester and England but the important thing is that this has been diagnosed and that Dan gets the appropriate rest and treatment, “ he said. “Our medics are working closely with Leicester’s to come up with a programme that will ensure Dan returns in the best possible shape.
“In the meantime, it’s great to have David Wilson back, as well as Henry Thomas who has trained well and came off the bench against Scotland and this will be an opportunity to develop experience in this area.”
The 26 year-old, who has 45 England caps, will have further specialist assessment on Tuesday evening and his Director of Rugby at Leicester, Richard Cockerill, said ensuring Cole’s long-term fitness is the priority.
He said: “It’s very disappointing for us and for England, and obviously for Dan, but his long-term fitness is more important. He'll have time to get over this issue and come back when the medical teams are satisfied with his progress.”
Wilson replaces Cole as the only change to 33-man squad which has assembled back at Pennyhill Park this evening to prepare for Saturday’s RBS 6 Nations match against Ireland at Twickenham.
England squad (33)
David Attwood (Bath Rugby)
Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints)
Matt Kvesic (Gloucester Rugby)
Tom Johnson (Exeter Chiefs)
Joe Launchbury (London Wasps)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
Joe Marler (Harlequins)
Ben Morgan (Gloucester Rugby)
Matt Mullan (London Wasps)
Chris Robshaw (Harlequins)
Ed Slater (Leicester Tigers)
Henry Thomas (Sale Sharks)
Billy Vunipola (Saracens)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens)
David Wilson (Bath Rugby)
Tom Wood (Northampton Saints)
Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers)
Chris Ashton (Saracens)
Brad Barritt (Saracens)
Mike Brown (Harlequins)
Freddie Burns (Gloucester Rugby)
Luther Burrell (Northampton Saints)
Danny Care (Harlequins)
Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints)
Kyle Eastmond (Bath Rugby)
Owen Farrell (Saracens)
George Ford (Bath Rugby)
Alex Goode (Saracens)
Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby)
Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs)
Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby)
Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)