Saracens flanker Will Fraser admits he is devastated not to be going on tour with England after learning he will miss the start of next season with a rare shoulder injury which could rule the 23-year-old out until November.
With the main focus on the British & Lions this summer, Fraser was almost certain of a place in England’s experimental squad to Argentina, having impressed in a sparkling breakthrough campaign for Sarries.
But an extraordinary injury, the like of which medical staff say they have never seen before in rugby, saw Fraser rip a tendon off the bone against Gloucester last month.
And while the forward says his "blind optimism" means he hopes to be back in action before early October, the injury is expected to need four to six months to heal.
As well as missing out on England, Fraser was forced to sit out Saracens’ Heineken Cup and Premiership semi-final defeats, which he admits was hard to take.
"I was devastated to be honest," Fraser said. "Obviously I’d hoped to go on tour to Argentina.
"And to play the whole year and then miss out on the Heineken Cup semi and the Premiership semi - those are the games you play the whole year to play in so I was devastated to miss them.
"But it’s part of the game, it happens, the more you think about it the worse state of mind you get yourself in so you have to get on with it."
The promising number seven said he’d had "very optimistic" conversations with England coaches Stuart Lancaster and Graham Rowntree regarding international selection and revealed Rowntree had sent him a text the night the squad was announced.
"I got a text off Graham that evening just saying I hadn’t been considered for the tour because of the injury but that I’m still very much in the plans going forward and I should just get back playing and keep in touch sort of thing," Fraser said.
"That was nice to hear from him. It would have been great to have gone on tour, it would have been brilliant to get the chance to get my first cap but I’ve put myself in a good position if not this year then next year.
"If England’s meant to happen it’ll happen another time. I don’t think I’ve missed the boat by not going on tour this summer."