England made to sweat on the fitness of captain Marlie Packer

England made to sweat on the fitness of captain Marlie Packer as they wait to see whether she will have recovered from her leg injury in time to play France in Six Nations Grand Slam decider

  • England will wait to see if team captain Marlie Packer will feature against France
  • The Roses captain is recovering from a leg injury sustained against Ireland
  • Packer’s team-mate Zoe Aldcroft would likely deputise as captain if unavailable

Marlie Packer faces an anxious wait to see if she can lead England into their Six Nations Grand Slam decider with France.

The Red Roses captain was substituted after 35 minutes in her team’s 48-0 win over Ireland with a leg injury, just after scoring a try.

The victory at Musgrave Park means England are just one win from what would be a second consecutive Championship clean sweep.

More than 50,000 tickets have been sold for Saturday’s Twickenham clash with France, meaning the game will surpass the previous best crowd for a women’s game of 42,579, at the 2022 World Cup final between England and New Zealand.

Packer will have further examination of her injury on Monday, but the fact she was put in a protective boot in the aftermath was not a good sign. Prop Hannah Botterman was also injured against Ireland.

Marlie Packer (middle with crutch) will face an anxious wait over her fitness

Packer (with ball) was injured just after scoring a try in England’s win over Ireland

Zoe Aldcroft (left) would likely deputise as England captain against France if Packer (right) is unavailable

France moved to four wins from four yesterday with a 39-14 victory over Wales.

The reality is that even if Packer is absent against France, England should still have enough to win. Zoe Aldcroft would be her likely replacement as captain.

England are hopeful the decision to replace Packer and Botterman in the first half will prove beneficial to their chances of recovering in time.

‘The medics made a great decision to get them off the field as soon as possible so they could start looking at them,’ said England boss Simon Middleton.

‘It was a case of not taking risks and making it worse.’

Middleton will leave his role after the France game.

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