Six Nations: England are rocked by Ollie Chessum’s injury ahead of disheartening final in Dublin


England have been rocked by a new injury after Ollie Chessum was ruled out of the Six Nations final in Ireland after suffering an ankle problem in training.

Chessum, from Leicester’s second row, was one of the first success stories under new boss Steve Borthwick, who quickly made the tighthead lock berth his own. However, the 22-year-old suffered a significant problem in England training on Tuesday and will miss Saturday’s Dublin match.

Leicester’s George Martin has replaced Chessum in England’s ranks and head coach Borthwick is keeping 30 players ahead of the clash at the Aviva. Manu Tuilagi and George Ford have remained in the England squad, both ready to be included. Will Collier, Ben Earl, Cadan Murley, Ben Youngs, Guy Porter and Tommy Freeman were all released back into their clubs.

“Ollie is a loss for us, he was great,” said England assistant coach Kevin Sinfield. “We played him on the second row but he also covers the back row for us. He will be a great loss.”

Tuilagi is ready for his first taste of Six Nations action in 2023 after serving a three-week suspension for a red card on sales duty. The 31-year-old has not played for England since the 13-27 defeat by South Africa at Twickenham which ended a miserable autumn season and cost head coach Eddie Jones his job.

Injury damage: Ollie Chessum was one of the early success stories of England’s new era

/ PA

The Sale powerhouse offers a direct replacement for Ollie Lawrence, who picked up a hamstring injury in Saturday’s 53-10 win over France at Twickenham. England were humbled by their record seven-try loss at home on Saturday, shamed by the rampant French who mercilessly dismantled Borthwick’s new Red Rose side.

Defense specialist Sinfield admitted he’d had sleepless nights in England’s coaching ranks ahead of what is likely to be an even tougher test this weekend against world-best Ireland. Andy Farrell’s Ireland can claim a second Grand Slam in five years on Saturday, leaving England looking for a huge improvement in seven days.

“It was tough, every time you pin 50 to your chin it’s not pretty,” Sinfield said. “We worked through it. We worked incredibly hard during this campaign, we did it anyway.

“You’re probably getting a little less sleep because you’re thinking about things and trying to understand why, but we’ve been working incredibly hard over the last few days to try and fix some of the areas where we’re feeling tight – and there are already a few.

“This would never be a straight line and it would never be straight. I feel like we have some wonderful people who want to make a big difference and move us forward. It’s our job to get better and improve and that’s what we want to do this weekend.

“If you deliver 50 points and you’re in charge of defense, that doesn’t suit you. I’m certainly not putting this on the players’ door. We’re all in this together and have to work our way through it.

“It’s our job to fix the problem and make sure it doesn’t happen again. It shouldn’t have happened on Saturday but what’s done is done, we’re learning the lessons, getting the bones out and making sure we’re better this weekend. Six Nations: England are rocked by Ollie Chessum’s injury ahead of disheartening final in Dublin

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