Bath's Watson ruled out for season with injury


London (AFP)

England winger Anthony Watson will play no further part in his club Bath's Premiership battle to make the play-offs because of an Achilles injury suffered in last Saturday's Six Nations defeat by Ireland.

Todd Blackadder, Bath's director of rugby, tweeted the news, confirming what England head coach Eddie Jones had feared in the immediate aftermath of the 24-15 loss at Twickenham which secured the Irish the Grand Slam.

"Anthony has been in superb form this year, and we're obviously really disappointed to have lost him at a critical part of the season," tweeted former New Zealand captain Blackadder.

Watson, 24, who underwent rehabilitation work on another Achilles injury last year, played at fullback on Saturday and suffered the injury just after the half-hour mark.

Watson, who has scored 15 tries in 33 Tests but looked uncomfortable in his position at fullback, had to be driven off in a buggy and replaced by Mike Brown, whose place he had taken in the starting line-up.

Bath, who have been crowned champions six times but not since 1996, are seventh in the table with five matches of the regular season remaining.

However, only 11 points separate second-placed Wasps (54 points) and Sale in eighth -- champions Exeter are the runaway leaders on 61 -- with the top four contesting the play-offs.

Watson's injury is a blow to Jones, who has a testing tour of South Africa to come in the close-season and takes a side reeling after three successive Six Nations defeats, the first time since the 2006 edition that has happened.