Maro Itoje sustained a knee ligament injury during England’s 32-20 victory over defending champions Ireland in Dublin on Saturday. Photo: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

LONDON – Saracens lock Maro Itoje will miss England’s Six Nations matches against France and Wales as he is suffering from a knee ligament injury, the Rugby Football Union said on Tuesday.

The 24-year-old sustained the injury during England’s 32-20 victory over defending champions Ireland in Dublin on Saturday.

“He’s a brilliant player and he’s a world-class player,” England scrumhalf Danny Care, who was not named in Eddie Jones’ squad, told BBC’s Rugby Union Weekly.

“He’s a guy who gives you an unbelievable amount of energy every defensive and attacking play – he’s in your face, he’s someone teams do not want to play against.

“He’s a big loss for England. I hope he’s back as soon as possible, but there will be other players who can step up to the plate.”

Itoje, who could return for England’s final two matches against Italy and Scotland next month, was replaced by fellow Saracens lock Nick Isiekwe.

Jones also picked uncapped players Jack Singleton, Ben Earl, Dan Robson and Ollie Thorley in the 35-man squad.

Reuters