London - Experienced England prop Joe Marler will miss the Six Nations
title-holders' opening two matches after suffering a fracture to his
lower left leg, his club Harlequins revealed on Wednesday.
The 26-year-old - capped 45 times - will miss the opening game with
France on February 4 and the match with Wales a week later.
"Joe will undergo a period of rehabilitation and is expected to be
fit to play again in four to five weeks," Harlequins announced on their
Marler's unavailability adds to coach Eddie Jones' selection problems
especially at prop as the Harlequins forward was seen as the ready-made
replacement for Mako Vunipola, who is a doubt with a knee injury.
Vunipola's brother backrow forward Billy is also a doubt for the
tournament as he recovers from knee surgery.
Centre Manu Tuilagi has
been definitely ruled out with a knee ligament injury while erstwhile
skipper Chris Robshaw will also miss the tournament after undergoing