England have been dealt a blow ahead of the Six Nations as flanker Tom Wood has been ruled out of their first two matches with a toe injury.
The 25-year-old Northampton Saints star will miss the trips to Scotland and Italy for England, who are 10/3 with bookmaker to win the tournament. He has been told he must wear a protective boot on the injured left foot for at least four weeks.
Wood had been tipped to get the nod to captain England in next month’s tournament following Lewis Moody’s decision to retire from the international arena.
Harlequins skipper Chris Robshaw is now likely to captain the side for the tournament opener at Murrayfield on 4th February.
Wood said: “There is never a good time to be injured and I’m obviously very disappointed.”