Croft still 'a little way off' England return

Flanker Tom Croft will not be considered for selection for England's autumn internationals despite being close to a return from injury.

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Croft has been out since April with a neck injury suffered playing for Leicester Tigers.

In the past few weeks his rehabilitation has stepped up a level, but he is still awaiting a return to full training.

That could come before November - when England start their four-match autumn series against Fiji - but Red Rose head coach Stuart Lancaster has ruled Croft out of contention.

And Croft himself admits an England return isn't in his thoughts, with his priority a return to club duty.

"I'm on track of where I'd hope to be at this time," said the 26-year-old.

"We are still a little way off but it is just part of being a rugby player. It is frustrating at the moment watching the boys on the pitch, gearing towards a game at the end of each week and I'm stuck at the gym.

"It would be nice to get back fit and actually have something to train for at the end of the week.

"At the moment I am basically avoiding contact as much as possible.

"I missed the summer tour and that was a very frustrating time in my career but there are silver linings you can take.

"It could be a lot worse and it gives me the chance to get my body back in some sort of decent nick and hit the ground running when I come back.

"England is not a concern of mine at the moment, my concern is getting back for Leicester and back playing well."

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