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Thursday, 18 May, 2000, 16:21 GMT 17:21 UK
Saints suffer Dawson blow
dawson
Matt Dawson's absence is a huge blow
England captain Matt Dawson could miss England's summer tour of South Africa and Northampton's European Cup final, after dislocating his shoulder.

The scrum-half suffered the injury during Saints' 29-24 Premiership defeat against Saracens on Wednesday.



Matt's shoulder went straight back in

Northampton spokesman
Dawson, who led England to the inaugural Lloyds TSB Six Nations Championship title this season, has suffered two shoulder injuries and rib damage since England's Calcutta Cup defeat against Scotland in early April.

During that time, he has started only four matches, and finished just two of them.

A spokesman for Northampton said: "Matt's shoulder went straight back in, and depending on the results of the examination, there is a possibility that he could still be in contention for a Heineken Cup final place."

England coach Clive Woodward, due to announce his squad for South Africa next Monday, will be monitoring events closely.


beal
Nick Beal has undergone surgery
While Dawson kept his fingers crossed, his Northampton, England and British Lions colleague Nick Beal was undergoing surgery after suffering an horrific injury during the same game.

Full-back Beal broke the tibia and fibula in his right shin when he crashed into a Vicarage Road advertising hoarding after attempting a fruitless try-saving tackle on Saracens lock Kris Chesney.

Surgeon Nick Birch said: "It is a very similar injury to the one suffered by Michael Schumacher at last year's British Grand Prix.

"Nick is quite comfortable, and the fracture is not a particularly difficult one to repair.

"We will insert a steel rod into his leg, and he will remain in hospital for between three and five days.

"If there are no complications and he heals well, there is no reason why he cannot play again."

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