Noon injury underlines England's vulnerability

Saracens 32 Newcastle 13
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The Independent Online

Newcastle boss Rob Andrew believes injured centre Jamie Noon can recover in time to take the field for England in Cardiff next Saturday.

Newcastle boss Rob Andrew believes injured centre Jamie Noon can recover in time to take the field for England in Cardiff next Saturday.

Noon was set to make his first RBS 6 Nations start against Wales before being forced off after a first-half collision in the 32-13 defeat at Saracens.

The 25-year-old looked devastated as he limped off after taking a heavy blow on his left thigh and receiving attention from the Falcons medical staff.

But Andrew insisted Noon's dead leg could respond to treatment over the next 48 hours and ease England boss Andy Robinson's injury problems.

"He's got a dead leg and we won't know how bad it is for another 48 hours," said Andrew.

"If dealt with properly, you're normally okay. We got him off pretty much straight away and that's one of the important things. I think he'll be fine."

If Noon does not make it, Robinson may turn to Bath's Olly Barkley to fill the position following injuries to Mike Tindall, Will Greenwood and Stuart Abbott.

The injury overshadowed a stirring Saracens performance as they outgunned the visitors up front with all four tries coming from forwards.

Taine Randell and Kris Chesney touched down in the first half with Hugh Vyvyan and Ben T Russell scoring in the second before teenage star Mathew Tait put Ollie Phillips in for Newcastle's consolation score.

Tait is expected to win his first cap against Wales and despite being starved of ball he looked the part in defence and attack.

"Tait's pass for the try was world class," said Andrew. "He's ready to play for England next week."

Saracens have put any threat of relegation to one side by turning Vicarage Road into a fortress where they have not been beaten in the Premiership since September.

"We've had a decent pack all year and if we play like we did tonight we can beat anyone," said coach Steve Diamond.

Glen Jackson's kicking nightmare cost Saracens a place in the Powergen Cup semi-finals a week earlier but he added two penalties and two conversions as well as orchestrating some incisive attacks.

Diamond said: "Glen exorcised a few demons tonight. He had an off week last week, we showed faith in him and he repaid it."

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