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Aviva Premiership
Injury-hit Northampton face front-row crisis
ESPN Staff
April 21, 2014
Premiership debutant Matt Williams was stretchered off with a broken left leg © Getty Images

Northampton are facing a front-row injury crisis after hooker Matt Williams suffered a broken leg in Sunday's win over London Irish.

Williams, making his Premiership debut as a second-half substitute, was stretchered off after 70 minutes in the hard-fought 36-21 victory at Franklin's Gardens. He joins Mike Haywood and Dylan Hartley on the list of hookers currently unavailable to director of rugby Jim Mallinder.

The Saints now have just one fit hooker in Ross McMillan, although Hartley has an outside chance of being fit for the clash at Bath in two weeks, which could also see the return of Alex Corbisiero after a lengthy lay-off.

"It's really disappointing for Matt but that's the nature of the game," Mallinder said. "You have to get on with it. I thought the lads who came on did really well. My sympathies go to Matt and hopefully he will make a speedy recovery.

"He's an outstanding player with his line speed and his physicality in attack and defence. He is going to be very good. I'm really disappointed for him but hopefully it's not too bad."

Hartley visited Williams, 22, in hospital after the game and tweeted to say his fellow hooker was recovering well.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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