Injury woe for Calum Clark

  • Last Updated: January 22 2013, 18:58 GMT

Calum Clark's second chance with England has been put on hold after it was confirmed he requires shoulder surgery that will keep him out of action for the "foreseeable future".

Calum Clark: Requires shoulder surgery
Calum Clark: Requires shoulder surgery

The Northampton flanker had been recalled to the England squad after serving a 32-week ban for breaking the arm of an opponent, which ruled him out of the summer tour and autumn Tests.

But Clark is now in danger of missing the entire RBS 6 Nations after he damaged the AC joint in his right shoulder during Northampton's Heineken Cup defeat to Glasgow.

Saracens lock Mouritz Botha has joined up with England at their pre-tournament training camp in Leeds as Clark's replacement.

England coach Stuart Lancaster said: "It is a shame for Calum as he had worked hard to get back into the senior squad. But these things happen and our medics will work closely with Northampton on his rehab."

Clark wrote on his Twitter account: "My shoulder needs an operation so I will be out of action for the foreseeable future. That's the game."

The 23-year-old was on the fringes of the national team this time last year but missed nearly eight months after pleading guilty to injuring Leicester hooker Rob Hawkins during the LV= Cup final on March 18.

Clark missed England's summer tour of South Africa and the QBE autumn international series as a result, but was recalled by Lancaster as a versatile forward, capable of playing in the back row or second row.

Lancaster was confident Clark had both the temperament and the ability to thrive at Test level and gave him a second chance.

Speaking after naming his squad, Lancaster said: "He has had a tough lesson to learn and he has learned it.

"I have watched his games closely, the first one being against Leicester. He has been harnessing the competitive nature he has got, which you want in players to win games, but he is channelling that in the right way.

"He has had tough lessons to learn. I have coached him since he was 14, I probably know him better than most.

"I know what he can offer. In addition to his desire to win, his versatility in the second row is an option for us. He is incredibly athletic and very good in the contact areas."

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