In-form full-back Olly Morgan's hopes of being named in England's revised squad for the RBS 6 Nations later this week suffered a setback after he fractured a finger in Gloucester's 10-7 defeat at Newcastle.
England head coach Martin Johnson is due to name his squad on Wednesday, but Morgan is unlikely to be on that list after Gloucester coach Dean Ryan revealed his injury was "very serious".
Morgan's injury capped a bad day for the visitors who, in a addition to missing the chance to claim leadership of the Guinness Premiership, also had Mike Tindall forced off with a dead leg to cast some doubt over his fitness for England.
"It is obviously very serious for Olly (Morgan). I think there is some tendon damage, but I don't know how long he will be out for," Ryan said.
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.