England players Jonny Wilkinson, Toby Flood and Jamie Noon could all miss Newcastle's home clash with Brive in the European Challenge Cup on Thursday night.
Wilkinson and Flood are definitely out, the former due to an ankle injury, the latter with scrotum and back problems suffered two weeks ago against Newport Gwent Dragons.
Wilkinson was troubled by the joint from start of the World Cup while Flood has been in a lot of discomfort - although Noon might play after suffering a head injury in the 74-10 victory against the Spanish side, El Salvador, in Valladolid on Saturday.
As head coach Stuart Lancaster polishes the axe he will soon wield over his World Cup training squad, Exeter Chiefs coach Rob Baxter has backed Jack Nowell, Henry Slade and Luke Cowan-Dickie to be given a stay of execution.
Italy Under-20s held off a late Samoa blitz to retain their place in the World Rugby U20 Championship on Saturday and head coach Alessandro Troncon believes the experience will have served as a valuable lesson for his young troops.