England hit by more injury concerns

Billy Vunipola was concussed in Saracens' Champions Cup defeat by Munster
Billy Vunipola was concussed in Saracens' Champions Cup defeat by Munster
©Press Association

England head coach Stuart Lancaster has added nine players to his squad for next month's autumn internationals to cover for injuries after this weekend's European matches took their toll.

Northampton centre Luther Burrell suffered a hand injury against the Ospreys, Saracens number eight Billy Vunipola was concussed against Munster and Wasps flanker James Haskell is recovering from a virus.

Vunipola will follow return to play protocols in training over the next week with a scan on Burrell's hand being carried out this week.

Haskell was hospitalised 10 days ago and has missed Wasps' last two matches.

Into the squad come Exeter's Dave Ewers, Henry Slade and Thomas Waldrom with Ewers selected instead of Saracens' Will Fraser, who also suffered a concussion.

"Luther will be assessed by a specialist over the next 48 hours and our medics are in close contact with Saints so we'll know more in a few days, but it's great to be able to bring in Henry," Lancaster said.

"Billy will undergo the return to play protocol with us and will resume training once he has completed that.

"Injuries are inevitable but we are excited about the group we have in camp."

Furthermore, props Joe Marler and David Wilson have calf and thigh injuries but both are expected to recover well ahead of England's opening match against New Zealand on 8th November.

Bath's Henry Thomas and Northampton's Alex Waller have been added as front-row cover and Lancaster has also added Ben Foden, Matt Kvesic, Anthony Watson and Richard Wigglesworth, taking the number of players in the training squad to 41.

Tom Wood has remained in Northampton with his wife awaiting the birth of their third child and he will join the squad later this week.

"We always anticipated bringing in additional players following the European games, either to cover injuries or for training," Lancaster added.