England tour of New Zealand: Owen Farrell injury leaves door open for Freddie Burns to return at fly-half
Leicester's new signing will play at No 10 in the final Test against the All Blacks
Owen Farrell, the Saracens outside-half, has been ruled out of this weekend’s final Test against the All Blacks in Hamilton after failing to recover from the knee-ligament strain he suffered in the second Test in Dunedin – an unwelcome turn of events in the short term that could yet prove of benefit to England in the long run.
Freddie Burns will replace Farrell for the third Test on Saturday. Burns, who left Gloucester at the end of a the season to join Leicester next term, was recalled by the England coach Stuart Lancaster for the opening match of this series in Auckland on the grounds that the three No 10s ahead of him in the pecking order – Farrell, George Ford and Stephen Myler – were either injured or otherwise engaged. Happily for Burns, he made the most of his opportunity, both as a goal-kicker and as a creative force in midfield.
If he performs as well on Saturday as he did at Eden Park, a place in the red-rose squad for next year’s home World Cup will be much more of a legitimate ambition than just a few short weeks ago.
Both England’s first-choice centres, Billy Twelvetrees and Luther Burrell, trained today and have a chance of shaking off ankle problems in time for the contest in Hamilton. But Danny Care remains a doubt: the scrum-half is still nursing the shoulder injury that kept him out of the Auckland Test and hampered his work in Dunedin.
Arsene Wenger 18th anniversary at Arsenal: His WORST signings XI during his time with the Gunners
18 things Wenger has still never done at Arsenal
Arsene Wenger's worst signings XI
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Nani: On loan Sporting Lisbon winger admits he may not return to Manchester United
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered...
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 35,000 walrus gather ashore on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Benefits 'smart cards' plan revealed by Iain Duncan Smith to stop claimants spending welfare money on alcohol