LONDON: Italy flanker Sebastian Negri apologized after his rolling clear out accidentally left England counterpart Jack Willis seriously injured in their Six Nations match.
Willis screamed in agony while clutching his left knee on Saturday. He was taken off on a stretcher and left Twickenham on crutches.
A scan on Sunday showed ligaments werent ruptured, but Willis club coach at Wasps, Lee Blackett, told the Coventry Telegraph after texting with the player that the injury was serious and he expected the flanker to be sidelined for months.
Willis had just come off the bench and scored his second test try in his first Six Nations appearance when he was grabbed by Negri in a ruck and twisted off. Willis jammed left knee buckled.
Negri wrote on Twitter on Sunday: A quick message to Jack Willis. So sorry about what happened yesterday. Just Horrible and never nice to see. Myself and all the #Federugby boys are wishing you all the best. I hope to see you back on the field again soon. Take care and we all know you will be back stronger. Seb
Negris action, called a crocodile roll, is legal but controversial. Referees permit it as long as players arent grabbed around the neck. But the roll has been criticized for years.
South Africa captain Jean de Villiers was hurt by a roll against Wales in November 2014 and out for seven months. Australia captain James Horwill missed the 2012 international season when he was done in by a roll in Super Rugby.
More AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports