Itoje absence confirmed for England's trip to Wales

Maro Itoje will miss England's Six Nations clash with Wales on Saturday as expected, forwards coach Steve Borthwick confirmed.

The star lock sustained a ligament injury to his right knee during England's eye-catching 32-20 opening-round win against reigning Grand Slam champions Ireland, keeping him out of the subsequent victory over France.

It was reported Itoje would not be fit in time to face Wales either and that has now been verified by Borthwick.

"Maro continues to go well and he continues to rehab day by day as he gets back from injury, but he is not going to be available for Saturday's game," Borthwick told Sky Sports.

"You are always looking towards the future and the progressions day by day. He is doing well but not quite ready for Saturday."

Borthwick would not confirm Itoje's status for the next match against Italy, adding: "I expect him to continue to be monitored on a day-by-day basis and progress.

"Right now, he's not fit for Saturday and I am not looking beyond that."

Wales, like England, have won their first two matches this year, seeing off France and Italy away from home.

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