Wood won’t start

Tom Wood will miss the first two rounds of the RBS 6 Nations with a toe injury. [more]

Wood won’t start

Tom Wood will miss the first two rounds of the RBS 6 Nations with a toe injury.

The Northampton flanker will sit out England’s tournament opener with Scotland at Murrayfield on February 4 and the trip to Italy a week later.

“Following a specialist consultation, Tom Wood will wear a protective boot on his left foot for four weeks to allow an injury to his big toe to recover,” read a joint England and Northampton statement.

“The Northampton Saints and England medics will in the meantime work to treat Tom and monitor his recovery. Wood will attend next week’s training camp in North Leeds.”

Wood had been touted as England’s next captain, with interim boss Stuart Lancaster due to announce his skipper after his first training camp at the end of this month.

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The 25-year-old, who has nine international caps to his name, should be back in time for the clash with Wales at Twickenham on February 25 but his early absence makes Harlequins back rower Chris Robshaw the heavy favourite to be handed the captain’s armband in Edinburgh.

As well as being a big personal blow for the former Worcester Warrior – Wood has admitted to being ‘very disappointed’ – the news is yet another setback for Lancaster ahead of his first game in charge.

England have already lost Manu Tuilagi, Toby Flood, Courtney Lawes and Louis Deacon for the game against the Scots.

It leaves Lancaster with relatively few options in the back row, with Wood’s Northampton team-mates Calum Clark and Phil Dowson in the squad alongside Lions tourist Tom Croft, Scarlets No8 Ben Morgan and Robshaw.

England are yet to call up cover from the Saxons squad for Wood but it is expected that Saracens openside Andy Saull would be next in line to make the step up.

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