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England centre to miss Six Nation openers

England centre Henry Slade will miss the start of the Six Nations due to an ankle injury, Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter has confirmed.

The centre has been ruled out for six to eight weeks having been forced out of the Exeter clash against Leicester Tigers which ended 31-22 in favour of former.

According to Baxter, Slade has a small fracture on his ankle and his probable return date cannot be predicted.

“Henry has a small fracture to his ankle around the site of the plate he had put in a couple of seasons ago when he fractured it at Wasps,” Baxter is quoted by Planet Rugby.

“The prognosis of anything like that is six to eight weeks of healing time. There’s no information at this stage that says it will be quicker or slower than six to eight weeks.

“It’s not for me to say for which game exactly he’ll be back because things can shorten up considerably towards the end of rehab time or they can relapse at the end, so it’s impossible for me to say.”

England open their Six Nations campaign against France at the Stade de France on February 2 but head coach Eddie Jones must now plan for the testing opening trip to Paris without a key component of his backline.

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