England have been dealt another costly injury blow ahead of the 2016 Six Nations, with Jonny May now set for a lengthy lay-off. The speedy wing suffered a blow to the knee during Gloucester's eventful 39-39 festive draw against Harlequins at Twickenham on 27 December 2015 and director of rugby David Humphreys subsequently described the problem as "pretty significant" while confirming the need for him to undergo surgery.
That procedure has now been completed, although any slim hopes of the 25-year-old recovering in time to play some part in Eddie Jones's first tournament since succeeding Stuart Lancaster in November 2015 have now been permanently extinguished after Gloucester confirmed he will be sidelined for the rest of the season.
May's absence will come as a real blow to both club and country. With six tries from his first 19 international appearances since his debut against Argentina in 2013, the player has successfully established himself in the England set up and will no doubt have been seeking to bounce back strongly from 2015's collectively awful World Cup showing on home soil.
Jones has plenty of injury worries to contend with ahead of the upcoming Six Nations. Bath lock Dave Attwood and Leicester counterpart Ed Slater are both doubtful with neck and knee injuries respectively, while props Alex Corbisiero and Kieran Brookes have also had surgery. Exeter fly-half Henry Slade sustained a broken leg in addition to a dislocated ankle against Wasps in December 2015 and teammate Dave Ewers has knee ligament damage.