Second row Maro Itoje has been ruled out of England’s Six Nations match with Wales on Saturday because of his knee injury.
The 24-year-old Saracens lock sustained medial ligament damage during England’s 32-20 win over Ireland in Dublin.
It was always thought unlikely Itoje would be fit to face Wales and despite a quicker than expected recovery, he will not be available in Cardiff.
England top the table with 10 points, two ahead of Wales.
Victory against Warren Gatland’s side would make them strong favourites for the title with matches against Italy and Scotland to come.
England defence coach John Mitchell said on Monday that Itoje was “progressing really well”.
“We’re very encouraged by what we see,” he added.
But Saturday’s game at the Principality Stadium comes too soon for the Lions forward.