England will bring a new scrum-half into their squad to face Wales on Saturday after coach Eddie Jones revealed Ben Youngs is set to miss the game with a knee injury.
The 28-year-old, who was picked ahead of Danny Care for the Six Nations opener against Italy, was carried off early in England’s 46-15 win in Rome.
“Ben will have an examination on Monday,” said Jones.
“He’s unlikely to be available for the Wales game.”
Saracens’ Richard Wigglesworth, who won the last of his 27 caps at the 2015 Rugby World Cup, and Wasps Dan Robson are possible call-ups with Gloucester’s Ben Vellacott – a former Scotland under-20 international – also believed to be in contention.
Jones says he has already contacted a possible replacement who will be a “kicking half-back”.
When it was suggested to the Australian that Wigglesworth would fit the description, Jones replied: “Could be”.
In Youngs and Care, Jones only included two specialist scrum-halves in his squad for the Italy game and he added that he hoped Youngs would return before too long.
“It’s too early to make any sort of prediction but I’m always optimistic,” he added.
Simmonds is a Twenty20 rugby player – Jones
With Billy Vunipola and Nathan Hughes out injured, Exeter’s Sam Simmonds started at number eight.
The 23-year-old Exeter back row scored two of England’s seven tries, as well as topping the team’s tackle count with 23.
Jones says his team had adapted well to the 23-year-old’s less physical, more pace-based game.
“If he was a cricketer he’d be playing Twenty20. He’s a bit different – he’s fast and runs good lines,” Jones said.
“He’s different to Billy Vunipola and Nathan Hughes and sometimes it takes sides a bit of time to adjust to that, but our adjustment was good. At the end of the game we played some lovely rugby.”