LONDON – England wing Chris Ashton is unavailable for Saturday’s Test with Australia because of a calf injury, forwards coach Steve Borthwick said on Tuesday.
The 31-year-old returned to the England squad for the November series after a hiatus of more than four years, and played in all three Tests this month.
He capped his return by scoring a try in the 16-15 defeat to world champions New Zealand.
However, the former Saracens and Toulon star – who is now at Sale – left the field after just half an hour of last Saturday’s win over Japan, and Borthwick confirmed he would not be fit for the Wallabies match.
“Chris was scanned yesterday, and has been ruled out for a couple of weeks,” said Borthwick.
Borthwick conceded that Ashton – who made his name in rugby league before switching codes in 2007 – will be a major loss to England.
“Chris is a fantastic player who knows his way to the tryline,” Borthwick said.
“He’s been great around the squad the last few weeks.
“It’s very disappointing, but it gives an opportunity to another player. We have a lot of good wingers.”
England head coach Eddie Jones – who will be looking to make it three wins from four Tests in November, having also scraped a narrow win over South Africa – will name his starting line-up on Thursday.