England Rugby
Borthwick ruled out of England tour
Scrum.com
May 5, 2010

England captain Steve Borthwick has been ruled out of next month's tour of Australia and New Zealand.

The Saracens lock picked up a knee injury during England's Six Nations draw with Scotland in March and was subsequently ruled out of his side's Championship loss to France. The 30-year-old has since battled to overcome a form of tendinitis in his left leg and has reportedly now accepted that he will not be fit in time for the tour.

England manager Martin Johnson will announce an extended squad next week for the five-game trip that includes two Tests against Australia (June 12 and 19) as well as two clashes with the Australian Barbarians and another with New Zealand Maori.

"Steve tried really hard to be fit for Saturday's game with Leicester but on Monday morning he said it wasn't right," Saracens' director of rugby, Brendan Venter told The Times. "It might not be a bad thing. He's played so long without a serious injury that a three-month break might prove a breathing space which in the end prolongs his career."

Borthwick, capped 57 times by England, had hoped to aid his club's bid to reach their first Guinness Premiership final with a potential home play-off semi-final up for grabs if they can beat title-rivals Leicester at Welford Road this weekend.

Leicester flanker Lewis Moody is set to retain the captaincy for the tour after being handed the honour by Johnson for the 12-10 defeat to Les Bleus in Paris. Among the locks in the mix for the tour are Stade Francais' Tom Palmer, Wasps' Simon Shaw, Northampton's Courtney Lawes and Leicester duo Louis Deacon and Geoff Parling.

The news is a further blow to Johnson who has already seen centre Riki Flutey and prop Andrew Sheridan ruled out of his plans due to injuries.

Click here to hear the thoughts of Saracens' Adam Powell, Andy Saull and Brad Barritt ahead of this weekend's clash

© Scrum.com

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