Jack Willis injury latest: Flanker has NOT ruptured ACL, 'crocodile roll' ban calls, Negri apology, Tom Willis try

JACK WILLIS has received good news on his knee injury following an examination today.

Wasps head coach Lee Blackett said: "It's pretty serious. But at this moment in time it looks like he has not done his ACL.

"He will spend a long time out, I should imagine."

Blackett also had his say on calls to ban the so-called crocodile roll, claiming it is unlikely Willis himself would want the action outlawed.

Sebastian Negri, the Italian who carried out the action, has taken to Twitter to apologise for his part in Willis' injury.

Meanwhile in better news for the family, brother Tom Willis scored the winning in Wasps' match at Worcester today.

  • William Pugh

    AS IT STANDS

    That win takes France to the top of the Six Nations table on points difference after two wins from two.

    Ireland are still yet to win a game in this years tournament, and have just two losing bonus points to show for their efforts.

  • sstreet

    OUT-FLANKED

    Wasps head coach Lee Blackett has suggested that his flanker Jack Willis would not want the crocodile roll to be banned, despite the action from Italy's Sebastian Negri seriously injuring the England star yesterday.

    Blackett said: "So really do we look at the head first, do we look at the limbs?

    "I understand it's quite difficult for the people that make these decisions and how difficult it can because where does it stop?

    "Do we stop the jackaller? Probably the one person who's got this injury probably is the one person who might not want the jackaller to banned!

    "It's such a difficult topic and I feel for the guy, it's easy to make just a passing comment but there's a lot that actually goes on with it."

  • sstreet

    SHIFTING ZANDS

    Wasps head coach Lee Blackett has refused to add his name to calls for the crocodile roll to be banned, despite the horrific injury suffered by his flanker Jack Willis.

    Blackett praised rugby's decision to deal with high challenges in clearing out the ruck, as was the case with Zander Fagerson's red card for Scotland against Wales.

    But he suggested that if the law were to also deal with moves like the crocodile roll that would give too little leeway to players trying to clear out the ruck.

    He said: "It's difficult isn't it the first thing you coach as a coach would be win the space, so get there before the jackaller gets there as a cleaner.

    "And then next you're taught if they win the speed to the breakdown you talk about them winning the high battle and getting underneath the head and you go to Fagerson yesterday and then you're going into dodgy territory.

    "Because you're trying to win the head battle, getting underneath and before you know it you're risking injury to the head.

    "Once you lose that you're trying to get underneath and trying to take limbs whether that's arm or leg but then you've got to be careful cause the only space you might get into might be round the side and before you know it."

  • William Pugh

    ANDY'S ANALYSIS

    These are the full time thoughts of Ireland head coach Andy Farrell.

    He said: "It's very hard, you tend to either over-analyse a game straight after a game [or under-analyse].

    "I suppose you need to take stock and calm down a little bit.

    "You can take a lot out of the positives but at the same time we had probably an opportunity to win the game and we came up short in the end."

  • William Pugh

    RAPHAEL'S REVIEW

    France team manager Raphael Ibanez has this to say at full time:

    "We're obviously very pleased with the win.

    "It was a hard fought win away from home so it's a big relief for the boys."

  • Daniel Brookes

    FT: IRELAND 13-15 FRANCE

    France survive a spirited Irish comeback to make it two wins from two in the 2021 Six Nations.

    Meanwhile for Ireland it's back to the drawing board after two losses in the row to start the tournament.

  • Daniel Brookes

    BLACKETT GIVES ROLL VERDICT

    Wasps coach Lee Blackett has had his say on whether the 'crocodile roll' should be banned from rugby.

    Blackett's flanker Jack Willis was injured by a roll out of a ruck while on England duty, leading to calls for the move to be banned by rugby's governing bodies.

    Blackett said: "It's difficult isn't it the first thing you coach as a coach would be win the space, so get there before the jackaller gets there as a cleaner.

    "Because you're trying to win the head battle, getting underneath and before you know it you're risking injury to the head.

    "Once you lose that you're trying to get underneath and trying to take limbs whether that's arm or leg but then you've got to be careful cause the only space you might get into might be round the side and before you know it.

    "So really do we look at the head first, do we look at the limbs? I understand it's quite difficult for the people that make these decisions and how difficult it can because where does it stop? Do we stop the jackaller?

    "Probably the one person who's got this injury probably is the one person who might not want the jackaller to be banned!"

  • Daniel Brookes

    BLACKET PRAISESENGLAND

    Wasps coach Lee Blackett has praised England's handling of Jack Willis' injury.

    The Wasps flanker suffered a knee injury as he rolled out of a ruck in England's win over Italy on Saturday, and underwent scans this afternoon.

    Blackett said: "I'd like to go on the record as well, I think England have been fantastic.

    "[England team manager] Richard Hill with me, the doctors, the physios with our club, I'm nothing but grateful to England for how they have contacted us and dealt with this whole situation."

  • Daniel Brookes

    TRY! IRELAND 10-15 FRANCE

    58. There's a touch of fortune about it but Ireland won't care one bit!

    Kelleher's throw-in is tipped backwards by a France hand, but it bounces up right into the hands of the substitute who shows a neat turn of foot to run the ball to the try line! Byrne adds the conversion.

    Ireland are back in this!

  • Daniel Brookes

    TRY!

    IRELAND 3-15 FRANCE

    55. Jalibert launches a looping pass out to Dulin on the right wing. 

    Dulin puts the afterburners on and feeds the ball into the hands of Penaud who touches down in the corner. 

    That's excellent play by France, using the forwards to break Ireland down and then quickly switching the ball out to the backs.

    Follow all the action over at SunSport's live blog:

  • Daniel Brookes

    WILLIS INJURY NOT HIS ACL

    Jack Willis has not ruptured his ACL as first feared, but still faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines, according to his Wasps coach Lee Blackett.

    Willis suffered a nasty-looking knee injury as he was rolled out of a ruck in England's win over Italy on Saturday.

    Blackett was speaking after Wasps' 17-13 win at Worcester, in which Willis' younger brother Tom scored a try.

    Blackett said: "It's really early and I don't want to go concrete with this but it sounds like he has done quite a few things with his knee.

    "It's pretty serious. But at this moment in time it looks like he has not done his ACL. He will spend a long time out, I should imagine.

    "I've only had a couple of text messages with him, as you can imagine, there will be a lot of people messaging him."

  • Daniel Brookes

    IRELAND 3-7 FRANCE

    30. France break through the Ireland defence with three or four outrageous offloads, including one from Dupont that is ridiculous.

    France then get quick ball from left to right, with Fickou feeding the ball into the hands of Ollivon, who has a clear run over the line to try.

    Jailbert converts to give France a four-point lead out of nowhere!

    You can follow all the action here:

  • Daniel Brookes

    IRELAND 3-0 FRANCE

    21. PENALTY SCORED!

    Penalty to Ireland after Le Roux failed to roll away at the breakdown.

    No mistakes from Burns this time, and Ireland have the lead midway through the first half!

  • Daniel Brookes

    IRELAND 0-0 FRANCE

    18. PENALTY MISSED.

    France are off their feet at the breakdown from Dulin's take, and Ireland have the chance to put three points on the board.

    But Burns' kick from the right sails wide to the right-hand side of the posts.

  • Daniel Brookes

    LOOKING FOR REDEMPTION

    Ireland stand-in fly-half Billy Burns will be looking to make amends after last week's error against Wales.

    Burns failed to find touch with a last minute penalty against Wales, gifting the Welsh victory in Cardiff last week.

    Credit: Sportsfile
  • Daniel Brookes

    BROTHER IN ARMS

    Injured Jack Willis' brother Tom has scored a try in Wasps' clash with Worcester Warriors this afternoon.

    The elder Willis brother suffered a serious-looking knee injury playing for England yesterday and looks set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

  • Daniel Brookes

    FRANCE LINEUP TO FACE IRELAND

    Ireland vs France kicks off at 3pm this afternoon, and here is how the visitors line up.

  • Daniel Brookes

    IRELAND LINEUP

    Here's how Ireland line up to face France in this afternoon's Six Nations clash.

  • Daniel Brookes

    WILLIS 'EMOTIONAL'

    Wasps coach Lee Blackett has provided a brief update on Jack Willis' injury status.

    The flanker is believed to have suffered a serious knee injury – his second in three years – after being rolled out of a ruck in England's 41-18 win against Italy on Saturday.

    Blackett told BT Sport: "[I've spoken to him] briefly through text.

    "It’s one of those, it’s quite emotional, you’ve seen Jack obviously for the last few years come back from his last [big injury], just on the verge of England there, gets himself in this time and it looked a nasty one. 

    "So we’ll know more come today, he’s going for a scan this afternoon and hopefully we’ll know more but hopefully we can put in a performance for Jack today."

  • Daniel Brookes

    FARRELL BACKS INEXPERIENCED DUO

    Ireland coach Andy Farrell has challenged newcomers Billy Burns and Jamison Gibson-Park to rise to the occasion against France.

    The pair have just 10 Ireland caps between them but come in for Johnny Sexton at fly-half and Conor Murray at scrum-half, respectively, against the French.

    Farrell said: "To get to be those experienced players, they have to deal with situations like this.

    "That's the challenge of international rugby.

    "If you want a long and fruitful international career, these are the games that you want to be involved in."

  • Daniel Brookes

    REES-ZAMMIT IMPRESSES

    Louis Rees-Zammit's scored two tries against Scotland to help Wales edge a 25-24 win at Murrayfield.

    Here's a look at his sublime second.

  • Daniel Brookes

    OWENS: GO BACK TO THE LAW

    Former rugby referee Nigel Owens has expressed his frustration with the laws of the game allowing injuries like the one picked up by Jack Willis to occur.

    Willis was hurt after being rolled out of a ruck in England's 41-18 win over Italy on Saturday, and is set to undergo scans today to determine the extent of the injury to his knee.

    Owens told the Daily Mail: “You cannot target someone’s knees.

    "Teams have been using judo coaches to teach players how to roll people away from the contact area. That should not be allowed.

    “We need to go back to refereeing the law. It is illegal to collapse a ruck. It is illegal to enter below hip height.

    “That would stop crocodile rolls like this happening, which will stop horrific injuries like this one.”

  • Daniel Brookes

    ZAMMIT UP

    Wayne Pivac has heaped praise on Wales starlet Louis Rees-Zammit after Wales' win over Scotland on Saturday.

    The 20-year-old followed up his smart finish against Ireland with a brace at Murrayfield to help Wales to a narrow 25-24 victory.

    Pivac said: "With the ball he was exciting, took his opportunities and played very well.

    "He's still got work to do on his game and that's the exciting thing, without the ball. He's going to be a very exciting player for us. 

    "He has got the confidence and pace, which you can't coach.

    "He's very quick and took that opportunity very well. The skill with the kick was magnificent, I'm pleased for him."

  • Daniel Brookes

    HAMILTON: BAN RUCK ROLLS

    Former Scotland lock Jim Hamilton believes the rules for rucks must change to prevent similar injuries to the one sustained by Jack Willis in England's win over Italy on Saturday.

    Willis was on the receiving end of a 'crocodile roll' in the breakdown which required the Wasps flanker to be stretched off with what looked like a serious knee injury.

  • Daniel Brookes

    NEGRI WELL WISHES

    Italy's Sebastian Negri has apologised to Jack Willis via social media after his tackle resulted in the England flanker sustaining a horrific knee injury.

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