Wasps' Jack Willis packs down at scrum time during a Premiership match against Sale Sharks. Photo: Action Images/Craig Brough

LONDON - Uncapped Wasps flanker Jack Willis will miss England's South Africa tour after suffering a serious knee injury that could sideline him for up to a year, the club announced on Tuesday.

The Premiership side said the former England under-20 international sustained "a significant multi-ligament injury" during Saturday's 57-33 play-off defeat at Saracens and is expected to be out for nine to 12 months.

Such a lengthy absence would also end his hopes of challenging for England recognition during the autumn Tests and potentially the 2019 Six Nations.

Willis had to be helped from the pitch following a first-half tackle by Saracens flyhalf Owen Farrell, who will captain England on the tour of South Afrca, at Allianz Park.

"Following consultation with a specialist, it has been determined that Jack Willis sustained a significant multi-ligament injury to his right knee during last Saturday's Aviva Premiership semi-final," Wasps said in a statement.

Willis, 21, was among 12 back-five forwards named in a 34-man squad by England head coach Eddie Jones for the three June Tests.

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