English Rugby
Rees injury could spell trouble for England
January 7, 2009

Wasps' 24-18 win over Harlequins at Adams Park could provide a turning-point in the struggling champions' season, but it may have come at a severe cost for England.

With Wasps boss Ian McGeechan already set to take umbrage to Martin Johnson's request for Paul Sackey to be withdrawn from the game, England will be without Wasps openside Tom Rees for the Six Nations and may also be without Harlequins pair Nick Easter and Ugo Monye after the trio limped from field with injuries.

Rees damaged his left Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) in a collision towards the end of the game after coming on as a late replacement, a recurrence of a previous injury according to Wasps' Head Coach Shaun Edwards. "He has re-injured an old injury. Sometimes when you do that it is not quite as bad but he was pretty disconsolate in the dressing room afterwards," he said.

A scan performed on Tuesday confirmed that Rees had sustained a moderate tear to his ACL, with a recovery time of two months.

"I've been here before with this type of injury so I know the score," Rees told The Daily Telegraph. "It's the same thing all over again. My knee got forced inwards and I felt a little pop. I'm looking at six to eight weeks. It's a sickener."

Wasps will be without Rees for crucial Heineken Cup games with Leinster and Castres and will also miss him as they attempt to climb the Premiership table, where they currently lie eighth.

"It is gutting given that we've got a big few weeks coming up," Rees said. "I'll just have to get on with things."

Quins No.8 Easter lasted only 20 minutes before retiring with back-spasms while Monye also failed to make it to the break.

England's first Six Nations game is just over a month away when Italy visit Twickenham and with two front-line back-row players potentially missing, Johnson will soon have to be looking elsewhere.

England are fortunate to have a great number of options in the back-row, but few players with Easter's experience or Rees' battling skills on the floor.

Wasps fielded James Haskell at No.8 at Adams Park, while at Welford Road blindside Tom Croft was powering Leicester to victory over Bath. Bath skipper Michael Lipman will also be looking to pin down the England seven shirt during the Six Nations and Lewis Moody is slowly regaining form with Leicester after a long time on the treatment table.

In recent weeks London Irish openside Steffon Armitage has also impressed, and will be a good bet to join his brother Delon in the England squad for the Six Nations when it is announced by Martin Johnson on January 14.

© Scrum.com

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