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Rugby | Six Nations

England's Johnson to miss Six Nations



England flanker Tom Johnson has been ruled out of the upcoming Six Nations Championship with a knee ligament injury, it was announced on Wednesday.

Stuart Lancaster, England's head coach, confirmed the Exeter back-row forward was facing three months out of action while speaking at the tournament launch in London.

The 30-year-old Johnson won the last of his five England caps against Australia in November.

Meanwhile, loosehead prop Alex Corbisiero will miss England's opening two fixtures, against Scotland and Ireland, while his longstanding knee injury is 'cleaned out'.

England will also be without Freddie Burns for at least the Scotland game at Twickenham on February 2, with the Gloucester fly-half set to be sidelined for up to three weeks with knee ligament damage.

Lancaster added that it was "too early to tell" whether centre Manu Tuilagi, one of England's try-scorers in their dramatic 38-21 win over world champions New Zealand last time out in December, will have recovered from an ankle injury in time for the Calcutta Cup clash against the Scots.

"Tom Johnson is probably facing a three-month recovery time," Lancaster said. "For him it is a tough blow.

"Alex Corbisiero's knee hasn't settled down. It keeps swelling after small amounts of exercise.

"There is a loose body in there. He has gone in for a scope today to get that loose body taken out and hopefully that will settle down for him.

"We will get him rehabbed and back playing for London Irish. That will take him out of the first two games as a minimum.

"Freddie Burns has had a scan on his MCL. It is a grade two injury so not as bad as first feared but it will keep him out for two or three weeks. We will try to get him back as soon as we can."

Worcester's Matt Kvesic was called into the England squad as a replacement for Johnson after the Exeter back-row was injured in the Chiefs' European Cup defeat by Leinster.

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