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England coach Stuart Lancaster will be without Alex Corbisiero, Marland Yarde and Christian Wade for Saturday’s QBE international against New Zealand.
The trio have all been ruled out through injury, and Joe Marler is also a slight doubt for the important clash at Twickenham. Mako Vunipola has already been ruled out of the showdown, leaving Lancaster to try and find a solution to his front row problems.
Lancaster will have to look to his fourth choice loosehead, with Wasps’ Matt Mullan set to win his second cap, if Marler can’t prove his fitness after suffering concussion following last weekend’s 31-12 over Argentina.
Corbisiero, who helped the British and Irish Lions to victory against Australia in the summer, failed a fitness test on Tuesday and the England coaching staff decided that his knee would not be ready in time for Saturday’s game.
Wing Yarde will miss the game with a hip problem, while fellow flyer Wade is suffering from a tight hamstring. Chris Ashton is expected to start on the right wing, as part of an unchanged backline.
Speaking about the injuries, Lancaster said: “Alex took part in Tuesday morning’s forwards training session but suffered some discomfort to his knee. He did not train on Tuesday afternoon and will not be available for selection for the weekend.
“It’s disappointing for Alex having missed last year’s Six Nations because of an injury to his other knee. With Mako also unavailable, it’s a great opportunity for Joe Marler and Matt Mullan, who has been with us all week and is raring to go in the 23.”