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Nowell to miss England's tour of New Zealand
ESPN Staff
April 29, 2014
Jack Nowell played all five matches for England in the recent Six Nations © Getty Images

England winger Jack Nowell will miss their summer tour of New Zealand due to knee surgery.

Nowell will go under the knife next month on a knee problem that will rule him out for between six to eight weeks. Nowell started all five of England's matches during the Six Nations but injured his shoulder eight days after their final match against Italy and has not played since.

Exeter boss Rob Baxter has given Nowell the chance to have a break before the end of the season and he will then have the necessary surgery.

"Jack has a pretty bad shoulder injury," Baxter told the Daily Mail. "It was going to be hit and miss to get him back in time for the end of the season and he also needs an operation on a long-term knee issue. This is an important chance to get on top of that situation.

"He is booked in for an operation as soon as the season finishes and we've let him go away for a break until then because he won't have a break for six to eight weeks after the surgery, when he'll be in rehab. The shoulder injury, because it's nerve-based, will just take time to heal naturally. Ironically, it has been his best season yet but he has only played six Premiership games. He's had the knee injury for pretty much all of his senior career."

Nowell's misfortune could open the door for Chris Ashton who was omitted for the Six Nations. Ashton is in fine form at the moment and his Saracens team-mate Kelly Brown believes the time is right for Stuart Lancaster to recall him.

"I just think he brings something a little bit different," Brown said. "I know there's been talk of England wanting something a bit different on the wing but I think he's the only player in England who plays the way he does. He follows things: he gets on the end of breaks, and in terms of stopping him, that's very difficult. I'm sure if he keeps going he can get back into that England mix."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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