Rugby - Corbisiero ruled out of All Blacks test

England face a crisis at loosehead prop after Alex Corbisiero was ruled out of Saturday's international against New Zealand.

PA Sport
Rugby - Corbisiero ruled out of All Blacks test

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Alex Corbisiero has been struggling with a knee injury.

Corbisiero faced a key training session on Tuesday afternoon as he continues his comeback from a knee problem, but it was deemed that the prop has failed to recover sufficiently enough to face the All Blacks.

With Mako Vunipola ruled out with his own knee problem and Joe Marler following return to play protocols for concussion, England now face world champions New Zealand with all three senior looseheads missing.

Wasps' rookie Matt Mullan will be pitched into the biggest match of his life for his second cap after being bumped up to England's match-day squad.

Corbisiero, a star of the British and Irish Lions' tour to Australia, completed a routine meeting with a specialist on Monday night after playing the second half of last Saturday's victory over Argentina.

"Seeing a specialist is part of Alex's ongoing situation with his knee. A lot of our players are seeing specialists all the time," Rowntree said.

"It's nothing out of the ordinary, it's part of his knee management in conjunction with Northampton and our team physios."

Marler was concussed in the 31-12 victory over the Pumas, but it is hoped he will be available for the climax to the QBE Internationals. If Marler is ruled out, Rowntree confirmed Mullan will start.

"Joe's following the concussion protocols. He didn't train this morning, but we're expecting him train properly on Thursday," Rowntree said.

"We were able to scrummage properly this morning because we've had Matt Mullan with us for two days.

"He's played very well this season and is able to step right in if we have any concerns."

Wingers Christian Wade and Marland Yarde have also been ruled out of the match against the world champion All Blacks at Twickenham.

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