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Former St Helens scrum-half Walsh retires through injury

Former St Helens scrum-half Luke Walsh has announced his retirement at the age of 30 Credit: PA

Former St Helens scrum-half Luke Walsh has announced his retirement at the age of 30 after failing to recover from a serious ankle injury.

The former Penrith Panthers goalkicking half-back was in his second year with Catalans Dragons when he sustained significant ankle-ligament damage in the third match of the 2018 Betfred Super League season at Hull KR on February 15.

Walsh has now taken the advice of several doctors to hang up his boots.

Catalans head coach Steve McNamara said: "It's always sad when a player has to retire early due to injury.

"Luke has tried everything possible to get himself into a position to play again but unfortunately that can't happen.

"His commitment and contribution to the Dragons is something we as a club really appreciate."

Joseph to miss England's tour to South Africa

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Bath centre Jonathan Joseph is set to miss England's summer tour to South Africa because of a foot injury.

The Aviva Premiership club say Joseph will not play again this season, with rugby director Todd Blackadder adding that the player will require surgery and "need a lengthy period of time to rehabilitate".

Joseph, who has won 40 caps, was hurt during Bath's Premiership clash against Saracens last Sunday.

England play three Tests against the Springboks in June.

"JJ is going to need surgery to correct his injury," Blackadder told the club's website. "He will then need a lengthy period of time to rehabilitate.

"Our medical team will work closely with him to ensure we get him back on the pitch as soon as possible."

Joseph started three of England's Six Nations games this season, and is a prolific international try-scorer with 17 Test touchdowns.

Joseph's Bath and England team-mate Anthony Watson is already sidelined from the tour because of an Achilles' injury, and captain Dylan Hartley is viewed as a doubt due to concussion.

Knee injuries, meanwhile, look set to remove lock Courtney Lawes and number eight Nathan Hughes from England boss Eddie Jones' summer plans.

Farrell remains a doubt for Champions Cup quarter-final

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Owen Farrell will be given until Friday to prove his fitness for Saracens' Champions Cup quarter-final against Leinster but Billy Vunipola has been ruled out of the trip to Dublin.

Farrell is struggling with a quad injury he suffered in England's final NatWest 6 Nations match against Ireland and only returned to light training on Wednesday with Alex Lozowski on standby to deputise.

Vunipola had been pencilled in to make his comeback from the fractured arm sustained in January at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday but remains a couple of weeks away from full fitness.

"We'll make a decision on Owen on Friday. His chances are probably 50-50. Billy won't be available," Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall said.

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