In what was otherwise the perfect start to the Championship, in which Eddie Jones’ side are attempting to win a third consecutive outright title, Youngs went down hurt in the 10th minute, screaming loud enough that it could be heard over the referee’s microphone.
The Leicester Tigers No 9 left the field on a cart with his left leg wrapped in a brace, and while Jones does not know the details of the injury yet, Youngs will almost certainly miss next weekend’s visit of Wales to Twickenham.
“Ben will have an examination tomorrow (Monday) so we'll know more after that,” Jones said. “He's unlikely to be available for the Wales game. It's too early to make any sort of prediction I'm always optimistic.”
Jones has spoken previously that he has three back-up options in Saracens’ Richard Wigglesworth, Wasps’ Dan Robson and Ben Villacott of Gloucester – despite the latter representing Scotland through youth grade international rugby. At least one of those players will have to be called up for next week with Youngs out, with Wigglesworth in pole position, and Jones admitted that they will not hang around in bringing them into training once England return from Rome.
“They’re on the Batphone mate,” Jones said. “All ready to come, we’ve just got to get the Batmobile out of the cave and then they’ll be here.”
Speaking to the BBC after the game, Jones added that he will call up a “ball-kicking scrum-half”, which would suggest that Wigglesworth is the leading contender to come back into the squad.
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