Owen Farrell in race against time for Six Nations with England skipper set for ankle surgery

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Owen Farrell will have an operation on Friday on the ankle injury he suffered in England’s win over Australia last weekend.

This leaves the England skipper in a race to be involved in the Six Nations as he has been ruled out for 10 to 12 weeks, after he limped off deep in the second half against the Wallabies.

Farrell’s absence means that against South Africa on Saturday Courtney Lawes leads England for the second time this Autumn, while Marcus Smith takes over goal-kicking duties. Manu Tuilagi returns to the No12 jersey, while Joe Marchant will start on the right wing.

Also missing is Jamie George, who told Standard Sport today that he hopes to be available for the Six Nations. Saracens say he will be available again in eight to 10 weeks.

In better news for Saracens, Elliot Daly and Billy Vunipola are back in training after injuries. Daly, the club say, is available for selection “imminently” having not played since the Lions tour due to a stress fracture.

Sarries have, however, lost Italy prop Marco Riccioni and Scotland centre Duncan Taylor to long-term injuries. Taylor will be out for up to four months following an arm operation, while Riccioni will miss the remainder of the season. He has a knee injury.

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