Six Nations woe for Croft

England flanker Tom Croft has seen his RBS 6 Nations campaign ruined after scans confirmed the damage from the knee injury he suffered on Saturday.

Croft had to be helped off after 27 minutes of Leicester's 47-8 win over Viadana in the Heineken Cup and faces a five to six-week lay-off.



The 24-year-old will therefore miss his country's opening two matches against Wales and Italy, and his participation against Ireland at Twickenham on February 27 is also extremely doubtful.



A statement from the Rugby Football Union last night read: "A scan has confirmed that Tom Croft sustained a grade two medial cruciate ligament injury to his left knee in the Heineken Cup game against Viadana last weekend.



"He has now started his rehabilitation programme with a view to returning to action in five to six weeks."



Croft established himself in the international line-up during last year's Six Nations, coming on a substitute in the first three games and earning a starting spot for the final two matches against France and Scotland.



He was handed a late call-up to the British and Irish Lions' summer tour of South Africa after Munster's Alan Quinlan was ruled out by suspension, and scored a try in the first tour match against the Golden Lions before adding two more in the first Test against the Springboks.



He played a key role for the Tigers in the early weeks of this season before an injury to the same knee sidelined him for six weeks - the Viadana game was just his second appearance since returning from that lay-off.



Northampton's Courtney Lawes will be one of the men in contention to replace Croft after being promoted to England manager Martin Johnson's senior squad ahead of the tournament.



Harlequins back-rower Nick Easter is also back in the 32-man party after injury.



PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz