Haskell, Vunipola create England headaches

International
AFP
by AFP

England were handed a double Six Nations headache on Saturday after European Champions Cup action saw flanker James Haskell red-carded and No8 Billy Vunipola suffer another injury setback.

Haskell was sent off in Wasps' dramatic 33-28 defeat by Harlequins for a shoulder-led high tackle on Welsh centre Jamie Roberts.

Whats done is done, but just want to publicly apologise to @Jamiehuwroberts," Haskell tweeted after the game.

"Never my intention to hurt another player. Got my height wrong, paid the price, which happens. You know me, never one to do anything subtly."

England open their Six Nations against Italy on February 4 knowing Haskell faces a ban for an offence that appears to be in the mid-range of making a dangerous tackle, which would result in a six-week suspension.

Meanwhile, Vunipola went off at half-time during Saracens' 15-15 draw with the Ospreys after appearing to suffer a wrist injury in only his second comeback game following three months' sidelined because of knee trouble.

"He (Vunipola) has an arm injury which we will obviously explore right away," said Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall.

"I don't know what the extent of the injury is."

FIXTURES

Six Nations 2018 

Round one 

Saturday February 3

Wales vs Scotland, Millennium Stadium, 2:15pm local, Sunday 1:15am AEDT

France vs Ireland, Stade de France, 4:45pm local, Sunday 2:45am AEDT 

Sunday February 4

Italy vs England, Stadio Olimpico, 3pm local, Monday 1am AEDT

Round two 

Saturday February 10

Ireland vs Italy, Aviva Stadium, 2:15om local, Sunday 1:15am AEDT

England vs Wales, Twickenham, 4:45pm local, Sunday 3:45am AEDT 

Sunday February 11

Scotland vs France, Murrayfield Stadium, 3pm local, Monday 2am AEDT 

Round three 

Friday February 23

France vs Italy, Stade de France, 8pm local, Saturday 6am AEDT 

Saturday February 24

Ireland vs Wales, Aviva Stadium, 2:15pm local, Sunday 1:15am AEDT

Scotland vs England, Murrayfield Stadium, 4:45pm local, Sunday 3:45am AEDT 

Round four

Saturday March 10

Ireland vs Scotland, Aviva Stadium, 2:15pm local, Sunday 1:15am AEDT

France vs England, Stade de France, 4:45pm local, Sunday 3:45am AEDT 

Sunday March 11 

Wales vs Italy, Millennium Stadium, 3pm local, Monday 2am AEDT 

Round five 

Saturday March 17

Italy vs Scotland, Stadio Olimpico, 12:30pm local, 10:30pm AEDT

England vs Ireland, Twickenham, 2:45pm local, Sunday 1:45am AEDT

Wales vs France, Millennium Stadium, 5pm local, Sunday 4am AEDT