Chris Robsh aw will miss the entire Six Nations with a shoulder problem that further deepens England’s injury troubles.
The 30-year-old flanker was due for surgery on his left shoulder yesterday, with Harlequins expecting him to be sidelined for three months.
England must already do without talisman number eight Billy Vunipola for at least the Six Nations’ early rounds, while captain Dylan Hartley will be short of match-sharpness after his six-week suspension.
Joe Marler, Mako Vunipola and James Haskell are all further injury doubts, though locks George Kruis and Joe Launchbury hope to be ready for England’s Six Nations opener against France at Twickenham on February 4.
Robshaw forged himself a new lease of Test-match life as England romped to a perfect 13 wins in 2016 under new head coach Jones.
The 55-cap flanker relinquished the captaincy after England’s failure at the 2015 World Cup but has fought his way firmly into taskmaster coach Jones’s starting line-up.
Robshaw suffered his shoulder injury in Harlequins’ 24-17 Premiership loss at Worcester on New Year’s Day, attempting to play through the pain before eventually being forced off.
Jones will be forced into a major back-row reshuffle and might also be without Wasps flanker Haskell.
Haskell lasted just 35 seconds of his comeback after toe surgery in Wasps’ 22-16 victory over Leicester on Sunday, suffering a concussion on tackling Freddie Burns.
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