England’s injury troubles have worsened with the news that George Ford will require surgery on an injured shoulder. The Bath fly-half will go under the knife next week, after his club’s Amlin Cup Final clash with Northampton Saints, and will likely miss the entirety of the three-game New Zealand tour.
It is a cruel blow to England, who are already without Owen Farrell and Stephen Myler for the first test due to their participation in the Aviva Premiership final. It leaves their fly half resources worryingly thin on the ground – Danny Cipriani, Freddie Burns and Henry Slade are the three playmakers that have been named in the England squads so far, but each has their pitfalls.
Cipriani has only recently been reintegrated back into the England set-up after six years in the wilderness – doubts remain over whether Lancaster truly trusts him – while Burns has been woefully out of form this season and Slade is extremely raw. The other option would be to deploy someone like Billy Twelvetrees or Alex Goode at fly-half, but that would be equally as risky given their lack of game time in the position at the top level.
It is the latest in a long list of blows to Lancaster and his team ahead of the New Zealand tour. As well as missing a handful of players to the Aviva Premiership final, there are injury worries at hooker, tighthead and centre.
Who do you think should start at fly-half for the first test in Ford’s stead? Leave your thoughts below.
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