Maro Itoje could miss the start of England’s bid for a third successive Six Nations title, with the Saracens lock due to be sidelined for two months after fracturing his jaw against Harlequins on Sunday.
The 23-year-old collided with England team-mate Mike Brown in the defeat at the Stoop, and will see a specialist next week. England, whose Six Nations campaign kicks off against Italy in Rome on February 4, will miss Itoje’s line-out excellence.
So will Saracens, who continue the defence of their European Champions Cup title against Clermont Auvergne at Allianz Park on Sunday.
Eddie Jones and Sarries have a number of other second-row options but Itoje’s athleticism is hard to replace.