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Last Updated: Monday, 25 September 2006, 21:55 GMT 22:55 UK
England send Farrell back to club
Andy Farrell
Farrell only made his union debut two weeks ago
Andy Farrell has been released from England's three-day training camp at Loughborough in order to continue his rugby union education at Saracens.

The former Great Britain rugby league captain played 80 minutes for Saracens' A team against Gloucester on Monday.

"I would rather Andy stays with his club and plays," said England coach Andy Robinson.

"He is still very new to the game and, vital as these sessions are, it's right he stays with Saracens this week."

Robinson added: "We have another three-day camp next week and we will discuss with Andy and Saracens whether he is involved in that."

Farrell, 31, who lost his first year in rugby union to injury, featured as Sarries beat Gloucester 14-3 in a match which also saw South African Neil de Kock make his debut.

Meanwhile, Rugby Football Union head of sports medicine Dr Simon Kemp has said "unprecedented" numbers of elite players are getting injured.

"Our ongoing injury audit, which provides detailed information about injuries over the course of a season, has shown that an average of 25% of players are unfit at any one time," he said.

"We have always seen fluctuations from week to week in this number.

"But this week we have seen an unusual and unprecedented number of injured players with approximately 50% of the elite player squad/senior national academy squad unfit to train."

In total 33 players from the elite squad and 11 from the senior national academy squad are in Loughborough, but a number of those who have travelled are there for medical attention.

Wasps lock Tom Palmer and Bath prop Duncan Bell have been called up from outside the original squads.

RFU director of elite rugby Rob Andrew chats to England coach Andy Robinson
New RFU elite rugby director Rob Andrew (left) was in Loughborough

Due to injuries sustained over the weekend Olly Barkley (testicle), Ben Cohen (virus), Charlie Hodgson (wrist), Andrew Sheridan (shoulder) and Steve Thompson (calf) did not travel on Monday but may link up with the squad on Tuesday.

Thompson will be sidelined for at least a month after tearing a calf muscle and is doubtful for England's opening Test against New Zealand on 5 November.

A larger group did not attend because they are recovering from long-term injuries.

They are: Stuart Abbott (knee), Jon Clarke (ankle), Lawrence Dallaglio (ankle), Richard Haughton (shoulder), James Simpson-Daniel (collarbone), David Paice (wrist), Ben Skirving (knee), Mathew Tait (knee), Mark Van Gisbergen (jaw) and Jonny Wilkinson (knee).

Another group of players are attending the session purely for rehabilitation with the England medical team.

They are: Iain Balshaw (ankle), Andy Goode (knee), Ryan Lamb (ankle), Michael Lipman (shoulder) and Mike Tindall (calf).

A final group sat out training because of knocks picked up during the weekend's Premiership games.

They are: Pat Barnard (knee), Mike Catt (calf), Martin Corry (ankle), Harry Ellis (hamstring), Ben Foden (shoulder), Danny Grewcock (knee), Tim Payne (wrist) and Simon Shaw (knee).

Thompson adds to England worries
25 Sep 06 |  Northampton


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