England injury crisis deepens as Boks loom

Manu Tuilagi, Zach Mercer and Danny Cipriani

Manu Tuilagi, Zach Mercer and Danny Cipriani

England's injury crisis has deepened after Mako Vunipola was ruled out of the autumn global series with a calf injury.

Gloucester number eight Ben Morgan is included in the England squad for the autumn internationals, but there is no place for team-mate Danny Cipriani.

Dylan Hartley and Owen Farrell, who led the team this summer in Hartley's absence, are named as co-captains.

Chris Ashton has also been named in the squad, despite not playing a minute of action for Sale this season.

England's loosehead prop resources have been decimated by Mako Vunipola's absence due to a calf issue and the global retirement of Joe Marler, leaving Alex Hepburn and Ben Moon as the only recognised options in the position.

"I have hopes for a lot of our players but ultimately, Eddie's choice is Eddie's choice and it's how he wants to play that will determine his squad and you have to accept that".

"It gives an opportunity for some good new players to play some important Tests for England, while players who have been in the squad before will have to take on more responsibility".

"We can only control what we can control and injuries have happened", Jones told the RFU.

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After winning their first 17 Tests under coach Eddie Jones, England have lost six out of their past seven games, finishing fifth in the Six Nations and losing their summer Test series against South Africa 2-1.

"South Africa have been going really well".

Richards will discover tomorrow if his advice has changed Jones's thinking as the England head coach has largely ignored the Falcons even when they finished fourth in the Premiership last season to make the play-offs for the first time.

"We love Twickenham. The players feel the support and we can't wait to get out there and play in front of 82,000 against South Africa".

Forwards (20): Tom Curry, Charlie Ewels, Jamie George, Dylan Hartley (co-captain), Alec Hepburn, Ted Hill, Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Courtney Lawes, Zach Mercer, Ben Moon, Ben Morgan, Michael Rhodes, Nick Schonert, Brad Shields, Kyle Sinckler, Elliott Stooke, Sam Underhill, Harry Williams, Mark Wilson.

Owen Farrell and George Ford are present as the recognised fly-halves, although Henry Slade and Alex Lozowski provide cover in the position.

Prop Vunipola has a calf tear while second-row Isiekwe is out with an ankle sprain, with both injuries picked up in the match against Glasgow.

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