Jamie George, the newly appointed captain of New England, received a neck injection to ensure his fitness for the upcoming Six Nations tournament.
According to Mark McCall, director of rugby for Saracens, Jamie George needed a neck injection before starting his role as England captain. However, he is still not back to full training.
On Wednesday, George was announced as the new captain for England, taking over for Owen Farrell. However, he is currently unable to play and will not be joining Saracens for their important Champions Cup match against Lyon this Saturday. McCall believes that George will recover in time to participate fully in training when England goes to Girona for their Six Nations training camp next week. George has not been on the field for his club since December 30th.
McCall reassured, “He is not in a condition to play against Lyon, but there is no need for concern. He received a neck injection 10 days ago and has made a remarkable recovery. This week, he has been participating in non-contact training with the team and is expected to return to full-contact training next week while he is with the England team.”
McCall expects George to do a “wonderful job” as England captain and praised the influence the 33-year-old hooker will have during what he described as a “new dawn” at Saracens. George has committed to the club for another two years, and Maro Itoje is expected to follow shortly, but McCall said a major overhaul is coming with Owen Farrell edging closer to a move to Racing 92 and Billy Vunipola among a number of players out of contract at the end of the season.
McCall refused to comment on Farrell’s upcoming transfer, stating that the former England captain has informed him of his choice. However, he did acknowledge that their team’s era is reaching its conclusion. “We are all aware that our journey is coming to an end and a new one is about to begin with a group of promising young players that we are very excited about,” said McCall.
“We had a meeting with the board to introduce a group of players whom we believed would lead us forward after 2014. This group included Mako Vunipola, Jamie George, Jackson Wray, Will Fraser, George Kruis, Billy Vunipola, Owen Farrell, and Alex Goode. There may have been a few others that I have overlooked. These players have been on a 10-year journey and it has been truly remarkable. However, their time with us is coming to a close and many of them will not be here next year. It is time for a new chapter.”
McCall guided Saracens to a cathartic Premiership title last season – their second back in the top flight after their enforced relegation – but they have hit the skids of late, going down to a record defeat by Bordeaux last weekend and losing five of their past seven matches. They now have 10 days to effectively save their current campaign with qualification for the Champions Cup knockout stages in the balance before tomorrow’s clash with Lyon followed by a key league match against Exeter before an extended break during the Six Nations.
When questioned about whether Farrell’s upcoming departure was causing any issues, as mentioned by former England captain Lawrence Dallaglio, McCall responded by saying that there are many factors contributing to our current performance and results, but they are not important right now. Our focus is on performing well this Saturday and next.