Morgan injury to be assessed

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Published: Saturday 10th January 2015 by The News Editor

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England number eight Ben Morgan will be assessed by Gloucester medics and see a specialist on Monday as his chances of featuring in England’s Six Nations opener hang in the balance.

Morgan was stretchered off Kingsholm as his side landed a dramatic 24-23 Aviva Premiership victory over Saracens with a 50-metre penalty in the last seconds from fly-half James Hook.

The match swung one way then the other in a pulsating second half, although the blow to Morgan could be bad news for both Gloucester director of rugby David Humphreys and England head coach Stuart Lancaster.

Should Morgan be missing for England’s first Six Nations match against Wales, ironically Saracens number eight Billy Vunipola, who was among the tryscorers for the visitors, could be the main beneficiary.

Humphreys said: “It is always hard at the end of a game to give a diagnosis of an injury but it did not look very good.

“At this stage we don’t know and we won’t know much more until he has been checked tomorrow (Saturday) and then sees a specialist at a full medical review on Monday.”

But Humprheys praised the way Gloucester fought to the last kick of the game and succeeded through Hook’s fourth effort of the match.

He said: “I went from one emotion to another at the end. I thought we had lost it and lost the bonus point and then we won it.

“But I think we were due a bit of luck and the one thing that people cannot question is this team has character.

“The fact that Hooky put over that kick does not just show the character of him but of the team. We are fortunate to have top quality kickers at the club and so I had every confidence he would knock it over.”

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall was left devastated by the loss and was not too pleased that Chris Ashton’s late try was disallowed.

He said: “Chris is clearly in front of Neil de Kock but the issue we have is they knocked the ball on prior to that. A good referee will decide that Chris Ashton is in front of the kicker and we will go back for the scrum.

“That didn’t happen and there is 45 seconds on the clock and the game was over.”

“It was a game which ebbed and flowed all the way through. We showed some poor sides to ourselves and some good sides to ourselves. We had the breeze in the first half but did not allow ourselves to build pressure.

“In the second-half, we defended our line bravely in the last ten minutes.

England fly-half Owen Farrell did not play in the match, and McCall said: “(He has) a very minor strain and we are very confident he will be fit for Munster next week. He did that midweek.”

Published: Saturday 10th January 2015 by The News Editor

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