England head coach Eddie Jones has described Owen Farrell's latest injury as a 'massive blow'.
The captain won't play any part due to an ankle problem, which requires surgery.
He picked up the injury in training with Saracens last week.
Squad Update on Owen Farrell. pic.twitter.com/aWrP32zTIn
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) January 26, 2022
"Owen is out of the Six Nations," Jones confirmed at the launch of the competition earlier today.
"It’s a massive blow for him personally and for the team it’s a blow,”
“But it’s obviously an opportunity for other guys to step up into leadership roles and for other players to play for that 12 jumper.
“We see it more as an opportunity. In today’s rugby, having your best team on the field is a rare occurrence. We’re pretty used to it.
"There’s an opportunity there to build a bit more leadership depth.”
England face a tricky opener away to Scotland on Saturday week.
Jones' side lost the corresponding fixture at Murrayfield last year, en route to a fifth placed finish.
Farrell's Dad, Andy, is the Irish head coach.
He says injuries are part and parcel of sport - but believes his son can come back in better shape than ever.
“It is what it is, you take the rough with the smooth in top-level sport,” he said.
“As far as he’s concerned, he’s probably had one major injury before these two ankle injuries and he’s 30 years of age.
“I know that he’s absolutely gutted to have another injury, which everyone would be, especially at this time of year because the Six Nations is massive to everyone.
“I’ve no doubt it will whet the appetite to come back bigger and stronger.”