Lauren James is OUT of England's clashes vs Belgium with concussion

England are dealt a major blow ahead of Women’s Nations League double header against Belgium as Lauren James is ruled OUT with concussion after suffering blow during training

  • Lauren James left England’s squad on Thursday morning due to concussion
  • Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast ‘It’s All Kicking Off!’

Lauren James has been ruled out of England’s back-to-back games with Belgium after suffering a concussion in training.

The Chelsea forward dropped out of the squad on Thursday morning and will return to her club for further treatment.

James’ withdrawal is a blow for boss Sarina Wiegman, with both games against Belgium seen as must-win in order to progress from their Nations League group.

‘Unfortunately not everyone is fit, Lauren James is not ready, she won’t be ready for Tuesday also,’ Wiegman said.

‘It’s nothing to worry about. She picked up a concussion and as you know we have to be very careful with the protocols, as we always do, and it’s just too short for the two upcoming games.’

Lauren James has been ruled out of England’s upcoming matches after suffering a concussion

James suffered the blow during England training and will miss the double header with Belgium

Wiegman was joined by goalkeeper Mary Earps, who earlier this week responded to a ‘hurtful’ social media comment from a parent who accused her of being ‘too busy and important’ to meet their daughter.

Esme Morgan spoke about the difficulties of interacting with fans following chants for players to ‘get off the bus’ after last month’s game in Sunderland while Earps admitted it is hard to please everyone.

‘In terms of the accessibility that people get to us as players, of course is something that I think is a hot topic of discussion.

‘It’s something that we as players are experiencing in a very different way with the profile of the game changing, and we love to interact with the fans but it’s at times becoming really difficult to keep everybody happy, and to interact with as many people as possible.

‘We’re obviously so grateful that thousands and thousands of people want to meet us and come and talk to us, but the reality of it is, if that’s the expectation, we’re always going to fall short.

‘I think the emphasis on it needs to switch now and we love that we can be so connected because of how the game has grown, but equally we are subject to a lot of comments and unnecessary – I don’t want to say abuse, because that’s a bit strong – but at times it’s just an addition to the game that we don’t need.

‘We love it [meeting fans] but it’s becoming really difficult to maintain that. So I think we’re doing our best but it’s always going to be a hot topic at the moment.’

But 103 lucky fans did get the chance to meet Earps and the rest of England’s goalkeepers at an open training session this week.

It’s a big blow to Lionesses manager Sarina Wiegman (centre) in matches seen as must-win

The Football Association invited aspiring goalkeepers aged between 10 and 16 to St George’s Park, with the youngsters gifted shirts after taking part in a Q&A session.

Earps’ goalkeeper shirt sold out when it was finally put on sale earlier this month after a backlash following the World Cup, where the jersey was not available for fans to buy.

‘Obviously it’s been a hot topic and I know there’s going to be more shirts coming at the end of this year so I’m really excited about that as well,’ Earps said.

‘To be able to give back to people, see young kids coming through and to be able to change the way things are done and give kids opportunities that I never had. 

‘It was unbelievable, very pinch me to have 103 kids, many of them were gifted shirts with either mine, [Ellie] Roebuck’s or Hannah’s [Hampton] name on the back. It’s just brilliant for them to have that access and have their own personal shirt.’

England No 1 Mary Earps is pleased that supporters are finally able to purchase her shirts


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