England has ‘lost’ Rugby World Cup star for Six Nations after…

Ben Earl could well be a Six Nations doubt after Saracens’ director of rugby gave a less-than-positive update on an injury he sustained on Saturday.

The back-row was forced to withdraw from Sarries’ Premiership clash against Harlequins after sustaining a knee issue in the warm-up.

A brace was placed on Earl’s leg following the injury and director of rugby Mark McCall is worried that it could be a lengthy absence.

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“Ben hurt his knee in the warm-up, and it’s too early for us to know how serious that’s going to be. We’ve lost him probably for a while,” Saracens’ boss McCall said.

Other injuries

Earl was not the only England player to suffer an injury on Saturday, with Elliot Daly joining his team-mate in failing to make kick-off and Alex Lozowski going off early into the contest.

“We had the disruption, and we dealt with that really well. It was great experience for Olly Hartley to play with Owen (Farrell) on his inside and Nick Tompkins on his outside. He did outstandingly well,” McCall said.

“Tom Parton looked fantastic on the left wing as well. We’ve picked up a few injuries in the last couple of weeks. People are stepping up and playing out of position. It was a really good win.”

Those setbacks did not hamper Saracens, who were utterly exceptional against Harlequins and claimed a 38-10 victory at the Stoop in the London derby.

After a difficult start to the Premiership season, which saw them go down to successive defeats, they have now won four in a row and sit in the play-off places.

“We’ve had three good weeks now. The fundamentals which were poor at the start of the season, have got better. Our maul was very effective here and so was our defence,” McCall added.

“We’ve used up to 40 players in four weeks and that allows people to step in when others aren’t playing.

“I liked that at the end of the match that when we were 30 points up we were fighting hard to not give away a try and that’s a really good side.”

Step back for Quins

Meanwhile, Quins director of rugby Billy Millard felt their loss to their rivals was a “wake-up call” for his side.

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“It’s disappointing, but there’s only one option, and that’s to make this a learning, be really honest with each other and move forward,” Millard said.

“We’ve got a massive game against Northampton next weekend and we’ve got to get it right. We’ve been so good so far this season, and this is the first time we haven’t had that consistent performance for 80 minutes.

“It’s a wake-up call, and sometimes you need this early during the season, but it’s definitely a wake-up call.”

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