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Last Updated: Monday, 29 January 2007, 17:19 GMT
Thompson suffers Six Nations blow
Steve Thompson
England gave Thompson only light training duties this week
England hooker Steve Thompson has been ruled out of the entire Six Nations tournament because of a neck injury.

The 28-year-old will rest for eight weeks, keeping him out of Northampton's struggle to move away from the bottom of the English Premiership table.

Thompson has not played for England since last season's Six Nations.

"I'm hugely disappointed to miss out on a potential opportunity to play for England again," Thompson told Northampton's official website.

"I am hoping that this rest will ensure that I can return for Northampton as soon as possible as there are some massive matches coming up and it's an important period for the club."

Thompson has been advised by specialists from England and Northampton's medical teams to rest for eight weeks to avoid exacerbating the cervical disc injury.

Last week, Saints coach Paul Grayson revealed that Thompson has been experiencing loss of feeling because of the injury.

England head coach Brian Ashton added: "This is a massive disappointment for Steve, his club and country and I hope that the rest resolves the problem."

Ashton selected Leicester's George Chuter at hooker for Saturday's Six Nations opener against Scotland at Twickenham, with Bath's Lee Mears on the bench.

606 DEBATE: Give your views on the England team to face Scotland


SEE ALSO
England pick Wilkinson & Farrell
29 Jan 07 |  English


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