English duo won’t tour

Wing Paul Sackey and centre Dan Hipkiss have been ruled out of England’s tour of New Zealand.

Sackey has an ongoing knee injury and will undergo rehabilitation instead of touring, while Hipkiss fractured his cheekbone in Leicester’s Premiership final defeat against Wasps. The two are replaced by Tom Varndell and Dominic Waldouck respectively.

Tour manager Rob Andrew told the BBC: “On behalf of the squad, I would like to wish Paul and Dan speedy recoveries from their injuries. Both Dominic and Tom are excellent players, and I look forward to working with them over the next three weeks.”

The English backline has already lost flyhalves Jonny Wilkinson and Danny Cipriani for the tour, and these further omissions will hamper their quest for victory in the two Tests. England play the All Blacks on 14 and 21 June.