Burrell could miss England games


Published: Sunday 26th October 2014 by The News Editor

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England centre Luther Burrell is a doubt for next month’s autumn internationals after sustaining a hand injury in Northampton’s 34-6 victory over the Ospreys.

Burrell departed holding his right hand in the 43rd minute of the Champions Cup showdown at Franklin’s Gardens and will have an X-ray to assess the extent of the damage.

It places his involvement against New Zealand, South Africa, Samoa and Australia at Twickenham in question at a time when Manu Tuilagi has already been ruled out of the QBE Series because of a groin problem.

“Luther has banged his hand. It’s very sore and he’s struggling to grip. He’ll have to go for an X-ray on that,” Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder said.

“He gave it a chance and put some tape on at half-time. Fingers crossed there’s no permanent damage.

“It could be anything – it was a bone in his hand.”

George North plundered four tries for the first time in his senior career to propel Northampton to an important bonus-point victory over the Ospreys.

Fly-half Stephen Myler finished with 16 points, but the Pool Five showdown at Franklin’s Gardens was dominated by North who produced his second hat-trick of the season.

“We knew that if we came out from one to 15 and beat our opposite man, we’d come away with the win,” North said.

“I was happy with my performance and the four tries finished it off nicely. It wasn’t a bad day in the office.

“This performance is definitely up there, for me personally and for the team.

“We didn’t get the result we needed at Racing Metro last weekend. We knew we had to get on the front foot and a lot of boys stepped up against the Ospreys.”

Mallinder praised North and was delighted that Northampton atoned for their failure to secure a bonus point at Racing by demolishing the Guinness PRO12 leaders.

“George is a good player and this was a great performance from him,” Mallinder said.

“This win puts us back on track after not even getting a bonus point last week.

“We could have been out of sight at half-time if we’d taken a couple more of those chances we created.

“It usually goes down to the wire in Europe and it will probably be the same this season.”

Ospreys forwards coach Chris Gibbes admitted the Welsh region, who are unbeaten in the PRO12, had fallen short at Franklin’s Gardens.

“We were inaccurate at times and we allowed them to camp in our half. We knew they were going to be a threat,” Gibbes said.

“We knew we had to be good from minute one to 80, but we weren’t.”

Published: Sunday 26th October 2014 by The News Editor

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