Section: Six Nations

Rugby Union: Ben Foden: Knee injury rules out full-back for rest of season

Northampton Saints full-back Ben Foden will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury, putting his World Cup hopes in serious doubt.

He went off in Sunday’s European Champions Cup win over Ospreys, and will require surgery after rupturing his left anterior cruciate ligament.

The 29-year-old, who has won 34 caps, has not featured for England since the 2013 autumn internationals.

“Thanks for the support, it’s a hard pill to swallow,” he tweeted.

He added: “Not gonna lie its a hard pill to swallow. I guess it’s the nature of the beast #gutted #shouldhavekickedit #onwards.”

Foden, who has seven international tries, played in England’s five matches at the 2011 World Cup but with this year’s tournament starting in September, he faces a race against time to be fit.

It is the latest in a series of injury blows for Foden, who missed last year’s Six Nations with a knee problem, and sat out the 2012 autumn internationals after damaging his ankle.

With Mike Brown impressing at full-back, he had been used on the wing in a win against Argentina and a defeat by New Zealand in November 2013, and travelled with the squad for last summer’s tour of New Zealand, but did not play in a Test.

And even although he was overlooked by Stuart Lancaster for last year’s autumn internationals, his form for Saints this season had put him in the reckoning for a Six Nations place.

Premiership champions Saints will turn to James Wilson to provide cover at full-back.

Read more at BBC Sport

Six Nations: Duncan Weir ruled out after arm surgery for Scotland

Scotland will be without fly-half Duncan Weir for the Six Nations due to an arm injury.

The 23-year-old Glasgow Warrior has undergone surgery to repair his right biceps and will be out of action for up to four months.

Weir started every Six Nations match last year, kicking an 80th-minute drop-goal to secure the solitary victory over Italy in Rome.

He won the last of his 18 caps as a replacement against Tonga in November.

Weir was understudy to club-mate Finn Russell during the Autumn internationals, coming off the bench in all three matches.

In September, Wasps and Scotland fly-half Ruaridh Jackson was ruled out for between six and nine months with an anterior cruciate ligament tear.

Glasgow have also announced that loose forward Tyrone Holmes will be out for up to six weeks as he recovers from a fractured eye socket.

Read more at BBC Sport

Rugby World Cup: Lawrence Dallaglio tips England’s Ben Morgan to be fit for World Cup

England’s Ben Morgan is likely to have recovered from a fractured leg in time to play at the World Cup, according to ex-captain Lawrence Dallaglio.

The number eight, 25, was carried off on a stretcher when playing for Gloucester against Saracens on Friday.

He is set to miss the Six Nations, which starts next month. The World Cup gets underway on 18 September.

“I would not rule him out at this stage,” Dallaglio told BBC Radio 5 live.

“He will probably be fit and ready by the start of England’s World Cup camp.”

Dallaglio, who captained England between 1997 and 1999 and in 2004, added: “He is going to miss a lot of rugby, which is unfortunate.

“But let’s hope he is back fit and ready to be available come June or July.”

Morgan, who has 27 caps, was one of England’s most impressive performers during the autumn internationals, scoring a try after coming on as a replacement against South Africa, before being promoted to the starting XV against Samoa and scoring two tries in the win over Australia the following weekend.

He signed a new contract with his hometown club last week, having joined them in 2012 after a spell with Welsh regional side Scarlets.

Morgan made his England debut against Scotland in February 2012, turning down the chance to represent Wales, for whom he would have qualified on residency grounds from his time at Parc y Scarlets.

World Cup hosts England open this year’s tournament against Fiji before other Pool A matches against Australia, Wales and Uruguay.

Read more at BBC Sport

Six Nations: Cole struggling for Six Nations opener

England could be without Dan Cole for their Six Nations opener against Wales.

Cole made a successful return from neck surgery in November having been sidelined for 10 months. The injury saw him miss the second-half of the 2013-14 Aviva Premiership season and England’s tour to New Zealand.

Cole last played for England in the 2014 Six Nations and it looks like he might miss the start of this year’s championship due to a foot injury. The predicament is similar for his team-mate Manu Tuilagi.

“Manu and Coley are probably still end of the month at this point,” Cockerill says in The Times. “They may well be fit for it (Wales v England) but whether they will be match fit I don’t know. We will see.”

While Cole is set to miss the opener, Cockerill believes there are few better hookers than his team-mate Tom Youngs. The Tigers coach added: “If there is a better hooker in England after the weekend I don’t know who he is. Tommy has been outstanding for us.

“If Rob Webber has any pretensions of playing at Test level in front of Tom Youngs, you saw at the weekend the difference: the ball-carrying, the mentality, the mauling. Tom is a different league, for me, to Hartley and to Webber.”

Read more at ESPN