Ollie Lawrence to miss England’s Autumn Nations Cup clash with Wales


ngland will be without young centre Ollie Lawrence when they take on Wales this weekend as he has been “rested” due to a hip injury.

Lawrence, the 21-year-old Worcester centre, has started England’s last two games, but picked up a “niggle” in training and will miss the game. It is too early, according to defence coach John Mitchell, to know if he will be available for the final game of the Autumn Nations Cup on December 6.

There is good news for England, though, with both Anthony Watson and Luke Cowan-Dickie fit enough to take their place in a 25-man squad for the Wales game, which also includes Wasps flanker Jack Willis.

Cowan-Dickie has missed all three of England’s games this autumn after a minor knee operation, while Watson has missed the last two matches through injury.

Willis was left out after a try-scoring debut against Georgia 10 days ago. He returned to Wasps and was named man of the match in the season opener against Bristol. Willis scored another try in that fixture and replaces Lewis Ludlam in the 25. Watson comes in for Ollie Thorley and Cowan-Dickie for Tom Dunn.

Joe Marler, who received a long ban after the fixture against Wales in the Six Nations earlier this year for playing with Alun Wyn Jones’ private parts, also comes into the squad having been in the camp for “reconditioning” of late.

Lawrence’s injury will force England into a reshuffle.

Jonathan Joseph could move from the right wing to his regular position at outside centre (with Watson coming into the back three) or George Ford could come into the starting lineup at fly-half, with Owen Farrell and Henry Slade moving out a position. An outside possibility would be bringing Elliot Daly into the centres.

Wales could welcome back Josh Navidi (head) and Taulupe Faletau (knee) from injury in the back-row. Justin Tipuric has also passed concussion protocols after being walloped in the win over Georgia on Saturday, for which he was captain.

Ross Moriarty will miss the final two games of the campaign with an ankle injury, however. 

The Autumn Nations Cup will be available to stream on Amazon Prime Video from November 13. Get in on the action by subscribing to Amazon Prime. It costs £7.99 a month, £79 a year or try a 30-day free trial.

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