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Six Nations: Wales dealt James Botham injury blow ahead of England clash at Twickenham

Flanker James Botham, who scored a try in the 27-26 loss to Scotland last Saturday, will miss Wales' Six Nations clash with England due to a knee injury sustained in the opener; Scotland forwards Luke Crosbie and Richie Gray have been ruled out of the rest of the tournament due to injury

James Botham file photo
File photo dated 02-02-2024 of flanker James Botham, who has been released from Wales' Guinness Six Nations squad due to a knee injury. Issue date: Tuesday February 6, 2024.
Image: James Botham suffered a knee injury in Wales' Six Nations opener against Scotland

James Botham is out of Wales’ Six Nations showdown with England on Saturday after suffering a knee injury.

The Welsh Rugby Union confirmed the flanker, who is the grandson of England cricket great Sir Ian Botham, was hurt during Saturday's 27-26 defeat against Scotland.

Cardiff forward Seb Davies has been called into the squad, while experienced Harlequins prop Dillon Lewis has also been summoned by Wales head coach Warren Gatland ahead of the clash of the two great rivals at Twickenham.

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Sky Sports News' reporter James Cole is joined by Sky Sports digital journalist Marc Bazeley as they discuss Wales almost completing the biggest comeback in Six Nations history against Scotland

"James Botham (Cardiff Rugby) has been released from the squad due to a knee injury picked up during Wales' 26-27 defeat to Scotland on Saturday," a statement from the WRU read.

"He will continue his rehabilitation back at his club."

Botham scored Wales' opening try during a thrilling second half against Scotland which saw them fight back to within a point after trailing 27-0.

His Cardiff team-mate Alex Mann, who also crossed the whitewash, replaced him on his Test debut and now looks a likely starter against England.

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Sky Sports News' James Coles provides an update from England's training camp as they prepare for their second Six Nations game against Wales on Saturday

Botham's problem is another back-row injury blow for Gatland, with World Cup co-captain Jac Morgan and 104-cap No 8 Taulupe Faletau out of the tournament.

Lewis, who has won 54 caps, was a surprise omission from Gatland's original Six Nations squad and he now becomes the fourth tighthead in the group.

He joins Leon Brown, who started against Scotland but went off at half-time due to an injury, Keiron Assiratti and uncapped Bath forward Archie Griffin.

Crosbie and Gray ruled out for rest of Six Nations

Scotland have suffered further injury woe after forwards Luke Crosbie and Richie Gray were ruled out for the remainder of the Six Nations.

Scotland Team Run - Principality Stadium - Friday 2nd February
Scotland's Richie Gray during a team run at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff. Picture date: Friday February 2, 2024.
Image: Richie Gray is out of the rest of the Six Nations due to injury

Edinburgh back-row Crosbie went off in the second half of the team's first victory against Wales in Cardiff for 22 years with a shoulder issue, while Glasgow second-rower Gray was forced off in the first half with a bicep problem.

The injuries have now been assessed and Scotland confirmed on Tuesday morning that the pair, who both started against Wales, will be sidelined for the rest of the tournament.

Head coach Gregor Townsend was already missing some key players going into last weekend's opener as co-captain Rory Darge was not deemed fit enough to feature due to a knee injury sustained at the end of December.

Toulouse full-back Blair Kinghorn and Edinburgh wing Darcy Graham were ruled out of at least the first two matches as well with knee and quad problems respectively.

Townsend is hopeful Darge will be fit enough to return in Saturday's Murrayfield showdown with France, which would offset the loss of Crosbie in the back row, while Edinburgh lock Grant Gilchrist is available after suspension to take the place of Gray.

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