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Rugby Union

Saracens centre Brad Barritt ruled out of England games


England centre Brad Barritt will miss the autumn internationals after undergoing foot surgery, his club Saracens have announced.

Barritt started last weekend's 42-20 Aviva Premiership victory over London Irish at Twickenham, but was omitted from the matchday 23 for today's clash with Gloucester.

The 27-year-old has had corrective surgery on damaged ligaments in his foot and is expected to return by Christmas.

"Brad is a tremendously important player for us and for England," Saracens director Mark McCall said.

"He will be missed through the autumn, although we have talented players ready to step forward.

"Brad is on the road to recovery and we look forward to his return later this season."

Barritt's strength in defence meant he was a likely starter against Australia, Argentina and New Zealand in November, but England head coach Stuart Lancaster must now field a new-look midfield partnership.

Manu Tuilagi, Billy Twelvetrees and Kyle Eastmond are the remaining fit centres in Lancaster's elite player squad.

Barritt is the second player to be ruled out of England's autumn schedule in five days after flanker Tom Croft underwent season-ending knee surgery last week.