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Croft ruled out
ENGLAND will have do without one of their leading players when they tour South Africa this summer after Kingsclere’s Tom Croft has been ruled out.
The 26-year-old has needed surgery to a neck injury suffered after a tackle on Nick Easter in the Premiership clash between Leicester Tigers and eventual champions Harlequins.
Croft was stretched off in the game and Leicester’s director of rugby Richard Cockerill said: “When Tom first went to hospital it looked like only a sore shoulder, but further tests revealed a disc problem in his neck which needed surgery.”
The blindside flanker was a key member of the England team since making his debut in 2008 and scored the winning try in the Six Nations victory over France.
He now not expected to return to action until September so also making him a doubt for the autumn series of Test matches.
This season, the Basingstoke-born player has also been an integral part of the Leicester club's push for the Premiership title, but the injury ruled him out of his club side’s final Premiership game of the season last Saturday, where the Tigers secured second place after a 28-3 win over Bath.
This sets up a home play-off semi-final against defending champions Saracens, while Harlequins face Northampton with the winners meeting at Twickenham on May 26.