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Launchbury to miss England's Autumn Tests

Launchbury will miss England's autumn Tests. Credit: PA

Wasps captain Joe Launchbury will miss England's autumn Tests after undergoing knee surgery.

In a brief statement, the Gallagher Premiership club said that the second-row forward would be sidelined for 10 to 12 weeks.

It means that Launchbury, who has won 54 caps, will be absent for England's appointments with South Africa, New Zealand, Japan and Australia next month.

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I found myself looking for outs before England duty - Marler

Credit: PA

Joe Marler has revealed that the anxiety caused by departing for England duty would drive him to get himself deliberately sin-binned or sent off.

Marler announced his international retirement last week in order to spend more time with his family but he will continue playing for his club Harlequins.

It was during a defeat at Bristol on September 22 that the combustible loosehead prop decided his 59-cap Test career was over.

The day after the 20-13 loss at Ashton Gate, Marler phoned coach Eddie Jones to inform him of the news as England were gathering for a three-day camp ahead of the autumn series.

"First of all, the Bristol game, I played like an absolute helmet, which often happened around England time," Marler told The Rugby Pod.

"That sort of mindset manifested... the anxiety I'd get about having to leave and go away again would start to manifest in giving away even more dull penalties and looking for outs.

"(I was) looking for a yellow card and looking for a red card because if could pick up a ban then that was an easy way out without actually pulling the trigger.

"After that game, I said I can't keep doing this... I can't keep doing this roller coaster. It's not fair on my family and it's not fair on my club.

"I rang Eddie up on the Sunday and was pretty honest with him. He said, 'I appreciate your honesty, good on ya, all the best'. It was short.

"The relationship I had with Eddie - based on what I did in 2016 for the Australia tour (Marler withdrew) - he knew that if I decided on something there wasn't a lot of chat he could give to change my mind."

Scotland star Hogg ruled out for up to three months

Hogg has been ruled out for up to three months. Credit: PA

Scotland's autumn Test plans have been dented after Glasgow full-back Stuart Hogg was ruled out for up to three months following ankle surgery.

The British & Irish Lions star is facing a recovery period of 10 to 12 weeks after suffering the injury against Munster earlier this month.

And that is likely to see him sit out all four of the November internationals lined up for Gregor Townsend's side against Wales, Fiji, South Africa and Argentina.

Hogg said: "I'm gutted to be missing some important games for Glasgow Warriors and Scotland over the next few months.

"My focus just now is working hard and getting fit, so I can play my part in what is a long season.

"I'd like to thank the medical staff at Glasgow Warriors and BMI Ross Hall Hospital for all their care and support."

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England appoint Mitchell as defence coach

John Mitchell is joining England. Credit: PA

England have appointed John Mitchell as their defence coach until the end of next year's World Cup, the Rugby Football Union has announced.

Former All Blacks boss Mitchell has been recruited from his role at South African Super Rugby team the Bulls and starts work this month ahead of the autumn series.

Scott Wisemantel will also be retained as attack coach for the Tests against the Springboks, New Zealand, Japan and Australia.

"Defence is a key pillar of our game and John is an experienced coach," Eddie Jones said.

"He's coached the All Blacks, USA Rugby and a number of Super Rugby sides so he will bring a wealth of experience and add to the coaching mix we have here."

Jones hoping to address breakdown officiating in the Premiership

Credit: PA

England head coach Eddie Jones has met with Rugby Football Union's head of referees Tony Spreadbury to discuss the way breakdowns are refereed in the Premiership.

Jones' side have struggled with that area of the game in recent matches and the Australian believes the way they are officiated in other countries gives opposition teams an advantage.

Spreadbury told a number of national newspapers: "That's the point he was saying to me, that if we can have a contest that will be great for us. I said, 'That's fine' but we are going to referee the laws of the game.

"He accepts that and it's also seeing how the players react this weekend and whether they are any different in their approach in how they want to play the breakdown.

"I have had discussions with the England coach and heard what his views are.

"Fundamentally, we are refereeing the laws about clearing the breakdown area, especially the tackler, we are harsh on the tackler.

"We want to encourage a contest. It is up to the players whether they put one player in or two players in this coming season."

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