England utility forward Courtney Lawes will miss his country’s six-game Autumn schedule after being sidelined for 12 weeks by an ankle injury.
The Northampton star, who has won 85 caps, was hurt during Saints’ Premiership game against Sale Sharks last week.
In a statement, Northampton said: “Northampton Saints can confirm that, following consultation between the club’s medical staff and a specialist, Courtney Lawes will undergo surgery on the ankle injury he sustained against Sale Sharks last week.
“The 31-year-old England lock will require a rehabilitation period of approximately 12 weeks.”
Second setback It is a second major injury setback for England head coach Eddie Jones, with Sale centre Manu Tuilagi facing six months out after he suffered an Achilles injury in the same game eight days ago.
Both players started the World Cup final against South Africa last autumn, and they remain integral parts of Jones’ plans.
England play the Barbarians on October 25, followed by their delayed 2020 Six Nations clash against Italy in Rome six days later.
Jones’ men then face Autumn Nations Cup appointments with Georgia, Ireland and Wales, plus a Nations Cup play-off fixture in early December.
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