Surgery rules Nowell out of England tour to NZ


Exeter Chiefs winger Jack Nowell has been ruled out of this summer’s England tour to New Zealand after it emerged he will undergo knee surgery. A shoulder injury will also be assessed.

Nowell, who started every one of England’s Six Nations matches this year, is expected to be back for the beginning of the 2014/2015 domestic season. England play three tests against the All Blacks and one tour match against the Crusaders this summer, starting on 7th June.

It is an untimely blow for Stuart Lancaster, who has already had his wing options decimated over the past year. Christian Wade has missed the majority of the season, while Marland Yarde has also only recently returned from injury.

Wade is unlikely to make the New Zealand tour, but barring any further injury Yarde will do. Lancaster’s other options are Jonny May, who also started every single Six Nations game, Chris Ashton and Anthony Watson. Other more left field options include a recall for David Strettle or Charlie Sharples, Bath’s Semesa Rokoduguni or Wasps’ Tom Varndell.

With Nowell out, which wingers do you want to see travel as part of the England squad to New Zealand?

Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

16 thoughts on “Surgery rules Nowell out of England tour to NZ

  1. How many wingers will be take? 4?

    I’d take Yarde, Ashton, May and Rokoduguni.

    Only Ashton is likely to be in the AP Final out of those guys, and with Foden in the mix too, we are covered. I never want to see Brown out on the wing for England again, but I’m more than happy to see Foden out there.

  2. I’d like to think that because Watson was in and around the squad anyway (he trained with them during the Six Nations), he’ll be the natural replacement.

    1. I’m still not convinced by Watson yet – he still looks very raw.

      His position play can be poor at times, and his kicking is not great. He is clearly very talented though. I wouldn’t mind seeing him go for experience, but I’d be surprised if he got a cap out in NZ. Midweek game though?

      1. Agree with your 4 Jacob. Happy to see Watson tour for experience but I think he’s behind Roko on finishing ability.

  3. I’d be more than happy to see Foden playing on the wing. I think he’s been very unlucky in that he has never really had a bad game for England, but a couple of pretty long spells out with injury and the form of Brown has meant he has been cast aside.

    Left field shout for Daly. He’s young like Watson, but has a better kicking game, and can legitimately cover 11, 13, 14 and 15. Plus he looked good in the Saxons games, which is a good indicator, given he wasn’t playing in a familiar back line.

    I really rate Watson, but he doesn’t seem to be a guaranteed starter for Bath, so maybe he’s not quite ready, and there’s no shame in that.

    My guess would be that Yarde and May will start the first test in NZ, let’s hope they take the opportunity.

    1. Thankfully someone else other than me mentioned Daly first…

      Has to be involved soon- he has the all-round game to be a truly exceptional player (though personally I would want him in the centres).

  4. Seems I got a bit ahead of myself and started thinking about this on the other article… happy with Yarde, Ashton, May and Watson, however would like to see Charlie Walker of Quins possibly get involved with the squad (can step off both feet YES good vision and footballing ability YES absolutely rapid YES). Especially as I see him as a definite future England player (though possibly competing for the 13 shirt- where he played for U20 England I believe). Especially as if we possibly get a bath/sarries final both Ashton and Watson- and maybes of roko and strettle- would be missing for the first game.

    At least we know May and Yarde will be there (one advantage of playing for under-performing teams, they get an early shot to impress)!

  5. If Nowell is injured then i see Ashton taking his spot, but is likely to be in the Aviva finals. Wade is not likely to make the tour so maybe Rokoduguni can take his spot.

    Not sold on Yarde or May. Yarde does not look to be in the form which owned him a call up but would still have him above May. Some problems i have with Yarde is his ill discipline which needs to be sorted out. If he plays like he did against Australia, then i rather have May. Johnny May has been a disappointment those inside runs can work against England, and seems to not want to take contact. I can see NZ targeting May and forcing a penalty because he seems to be the weakest link.

    I think we should look at other left wings options. I know Rokoduguni can play L wing and R wing. I think Tom Varndell might be worth looking at. With those 2 we would still have pace but with power.

    With Ben Foden i rather have him take the bench spot of Goode, as he can cover wing and fullback. I also rather have Ben Youngs over Lee Dickson paired with George Ford. They should be able to work well together from their Leicester Tiger days.

  6. Please god not Strettle. May massively disappointed me in the 6n. Seemed to get worse the more he played. Rokoduguni is a good shout. Is it just me or does Yarde look totally out of shape? England lack an out and out finisher. Varndell may be a good shout.

  7. Massive Rokoduguni fan, he is so powerful he always beats the first man, and he has this talent that sevens players develop which is being able to run very quickly for a long time and step a long way without changing pace. He also likes to pick aggressive lines off the inside shoulder of 10 which I like and also I imagine with his alternative training shall we say I would guess he is impossible to fluster which would mean fewer temperamental matches.
    The problem I have with Ashton is that he hates contact, ( not in defence lets not bother) now avoiding contact is good in terms of finding space and making metres, much better than finding the nearest man and running into him, but it is often the way (as with varndell) that due to his reticence if he gets caught with the ball he goes backwards which kills momentum. For example 1012 vs france off the restart Morgs catches the ball pops it right to ashton who goes steaming off down the wing only to encounter louis picamoles and then already be running backwards by the time he gets tackled.

  8. I’ll start by saying that I think our wings are completely up in the air. May and Nowell were poor to average in the 6 nations, and Ashton had his chance(s) and was dropped, so I don’t think we’re working with any ‘credit in the bank’. As for who I would take:

    1. Ashton. His flaws are still there but he’s scoring tries again, and not taking a man in the form he’s in could only be for personal reasons. (given the state of our other options anyway)

    2. Varndell. About time he’s given another chance, we need finishers.

    3. Yarde. Hasn’t really convinced since he’s come back but Irish have pretty much stopped playing, and I think his potential remains pretty obvious.

    4. Rokoduguni. Bit of a bolter but he always impresses when I see him.

    And be prepared to use Foden on the wing. In fact, purely in terms of getting good results against NZ, there’s probably a decent case to say Foden-Ashton would be our best pairing. Really worried about that first test though. I’ve ended up with Yarde-Varndell, two (internationally) inexperienced guys and one of them would be playing on the wrong wing against Savea.

    (I’ve assumed we’ll take a squad big enough not to have to worry about picking players for their versatility)

  9. I’d stick with May. His talent is obvious and I don’t see the point in dropping a guy after 5 caps. Either give him a chance or don’t bother picking him in the first place. He didn’t do as badly as people make out during the 6N.

  10. May had 4 caps (lets not count France), to come good. And he didn’t. Even in the Italy match he got scragged behind the line after running backwards/sidemays. Yarde is now back, Varndell is just as fast as May, but generally more direct, Roko is ridiculously direct and bumping off people left right and centre, with a real nose for the tryline.

    Yarde is probably fine on the right or left now, he’s been doing most his stuff recently at Irish on the right wing.

    1. Don’t think May should be written off just yet. Not getting the ball down against Ireland seemed to knock his confidence, everything looked either more hesitant or more desperate after that point. Hope he does tour, but I’d take a risk on Yarde ahead of him.

      The time to have another look at Varndell was last summer, he was on fire all last season. Not played enough this year to force his way into contention.

  11. Maybe we should look at the likely Kiwi wingers and decide how best to counteract. One will definitely be Savea. So we need a big guy on the right wing who can tackle. Who does that suggest?

Comments are closed.