LONDON Irish will begin life in the Greene King IPA Championship without Alex Lewington and Theo Brophy Clews after the pair picked up injuries while on international duty.
Fly-half Brophy Clews will miss the start of the 2016/17 campaign after hurting a foot during England’s 48-10 thrashing of Italy at the World Rugby Under-20 Championships, with the 19-year-old having to undergo surgery to address the problem.
Winger Lewington, meanwhile, looks set to miss the majority of the campaign.
He suffered a serious knee injury when turning out for England Saxons during their 32-24 first test victory over South Africa A.
Lewington, 24, has also gone under the knife after requiring ligament reconstruction surgery and is now set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
“I’m really disappointed with the outcome of the injury, but I’m fully focused on making a full recovery and contributing to London Irish later on the the season, as we look to make an immediate return to the Aviva Premiership,” he said.
“I would like to say a big thank you for all the well wishes I received after the game and express my gratitude to the medical treatment I received in South Africa.”
Brophy Clews, meanwhile, will also have to wait to build on the 11 appearances he made for the Exiles during his breakthrough year last term.
He added: “I’m obviously disappointed to miss the rest of the World Cup and not be able to put my hand up for selection at London Irish at the start of the season.
“However, I’ve got really good people around me helping me to get back to full fitness as soon as possible.
“I’m looking forward to working hard to be a part of the squad and help the club get back to the Premiership at the first attempt.”