Jonny Wilkinson's hopes of making an immediate start to the Premiership campaign have been dashed.
Newcastle fly-half Wilkinson underwent shoulder surgery during the summer, ruling him out of England’s two-Test New Zealand tour.
His club have now decided to give him more recovery time, which means he misses Sunday’s Premiership opener against Sale Sharks at Kingston Park.
Falcons rugby director Steve Bates said: “Jonny took a very active part in training this week and was close to making the game.
“But having spoken to the medical team, we just felt this weekend was a little too soon for him.”
England Under-18 prospect Rory Clegg will wear the number 10 shirt this weekend, and Bates added: “He is an extremely talented player with a fantastic temperament.
“He has dealt very well with playing two full games for the first team in pre-season, and we look forward to seeing him transfer that on to the Premiership stage on Sunday.”