Cipriani and Rees injuries hit England

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The Independent Online

Danny Cipriani has been ruled out of England's autumn Test matches through injury. The fly-half is on crutches and is expected to be out for six weeks after picking up a hairline fracture to his right calf bone.

His Wasps team-mate, flanker Tom Rees, meanwhile, faces four months on the sidelines after undergoing a second shoulder operation this year. The London club launch their European Challenge Cup campaign tomorrow.

Rees is part of the elite England squad, while Cipriani is in the England Saxons group. Wasps director of rugby Tony Hanks said of Rees' operation: "This is not a decision that has been taken lightly by Tom or the club. However, the disappointment at the delay in a return to fitness is secondary to Tom's health, comfort and long-term career. All parties believe this is the best option for Tom and he will, of course, have the full support of the club through this difficult and frustrating time."

The England prop Phil Vickery will captain Wasps against Racing Metro 92 at Adams Park tomorrow, leading a team that includes full-back Lachlan Mitchell following his recovery from concussion sustained in last weekend's Premiership win over Northampton.