With just a few weeks until the 6 Nations rugby starts players are dropping like flies. Or so it seems. With an ever growing sick list, especially for England and Wales is this going to be a major impact on results?
If you can't field your key players then you could reasonably suggest that it does. But even for England with it's huge resources and pool of players?
The Six Nations Injury List So Far (May be different by the time this is posted):
Billy Vanipola - Fractured Arm (4th injury in 14 months)
Joe Marler - Okay he is banned for 6 weeks but still a loss
James Haskill - Banned 4 weeks
Dan Biggar - Shoulder - To be assessed
Rhys Priestland - Out for tournament
Sam Warburton - Knee injury & operation
Liam Williams - Failed fitness test for Saracens - Return unknown
George North - Just back from knee injury. Fitnes and form suspect.
Dan Lydiate (missing at least the start)
Ross Moriarty (yet to fully recover from a back injury)
Ollie Griffiths (doubt)
James King (missing at least the start)
Hallam Amos (doubt)
Greg Laidlaw - Just returned from injury
Stuart Hogg - Just returned from injury
Gary Ringrose - ankle
Well England and Wales have obviously been hardest hit. I fear for Wales if they are down to a third string fly half. Their strength in depth is limited. They have pretty much lost their back row and most experienced centre as well.
As for England Billy missing is MASSIVE. He is the battering ram that provides that go forward and these days he is a lot more rugby brain savvy than just tuck it under the arm. Johnny May missing is not the end. Yes he is fast but with that also comes sometimes a tendency to cut in when he should burn someone on the outside and also dodgy positional play as well.
Of course on the upside we will get to blood some of the youngsters like Zach Mercer and Sam Simmonds. That can only be good for the World Cup squad I think. But for the ^N England will struggle to retain it this year I think.
My money is on a strong, solid, explosive and creative Ireland. But I just hope it is competitive. The 6N needs exciting hard fought competitive matches. What do you think?