Sam Underhill and Maro Itoje have officially been ruled out of England’s third and deciding Test against Australia after suffering concussions in last weekend’s second-Test victory.
The pair’s withdrawal from the squad follows on from the loss of Tom Curry last week after he also sustained a concussion in the opening Test defeat.
Underhill was forced off in the second half at Suncorp Stadium following a tackle on Marika Koroibete, while Itoje’s absence for the final contest had already been confirmed by head coach Eddie Jones after he exited before half-time on the back of a collision with Hunter Paisami.
As is known, the Rugby Football Union confirmed in a statement that there will be no replacement for this pair.
No replacements will be called up, with Lewis Ludlam and Ollie Chessum likely to start in the pair’s place at the Sydney Cricket Ground for the decider.
It comes in the wake of Tom Curry returning home last week after being concussed in the first Test and England have only escaped a full-blown injury crisis at flanker by the news that Jack Willis has been cleared to train.
Flanker Jack Willis is also in doubt after having to pull out of an England sub in Brisbane with a rib injury.
Lewis Ludlam came off the bench in the first two Tests and looks like the most likely starter in the number seven shirt.
Australia also have a long list of injuries, and on Monday they called up winger Mark Navakanitawase and locked Luhan Salakaya-Lotto on their squad.