England could be without their three best loosehead props for the visit of New Zealand on Saturday.
Mako Vunipola, who missed the Argentina test, has already been ruled out with a knee injury, and the man who started the latest game, Joe Marler, is reportedly going through concussion tests. With all the furore surrounding the effect of concussions on rugby players, he will not be rushed back if there is even the slightest danger of further damage – and quite rightly so.
Reports in the Daily Mail have since emerged that Alex Corbisiero, who would likely be first choice, was visiting specialists on Monday to assess “the impact of his Test comeback against Argentina on his knees, which have caused him repeat problems in recent times”.
Wasps prop Matt Mullan has been added to the squad this week as cover, and should either Marler or Corbisiero be ruled out for this weekend as well, he could even be pressed into action against the All Blacks.
Head coach Stuart Lancaster said: “Joe got a bang in the first half so he’s going through the mandatory (procedures) for concussion. Hopefully he’ll be OK for Saturday.
“Matt just missed out on the Saxons and has benefited from a strong start to the season. He’s been around the England squad for quite a while now. He certainly fits in seamlessly, there’s no problem with his inclusion.”
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