England's centre Jonathan Joseph, pictured in February 2018, was on crutches after suffering what appeared to be an issue with his left ankle

London (United Kingdom) (AFP) - Jonathan Joseph gave England an injury scare as he limped off during Bath’s 41-6 Premiership defeat at Saracens on Sunday.

Joseph was on crutches after suffering what appeared to be an issue with his left ankle having been caught awkwardly at a ruck shortly before the half-hour mark.

The outside centre, a fixture in the England team since 2015, was in obvious discomfort.

England coach Eddie Jones will await news on a setback that could prevent Joseph from adding to his 40 caps when the national team tour South Africa in June.

It was a worrying development for injury-hit Bath, whose season continued to deteriorate as they slumped to a fifth defeat in six Premiership matches.

Saracens had the bonus point in the bank in the 49th minute when Owen Farrell scored and they are now guaranteed a top-four finish.

Sam Simmonds bagged a hat-trick as Premiership leaders Exeter clinched a home semi-final with a 45-5 rout of London Irish.

Simmonds’ heroics ensured Premiership champions Exeter booked themselves home advantage in the play-offs, with Ben Moon, Mitch Lees and Jack Yeandle also scoring tries.

Exeter took a step closer to topping the Premiership’s regular-season table, maintaining their eight-point advantage over second-placed Saracens.

Irish’s 17th defeat in 20 league matches leaves the bottom club staring down the barrel of a second Premiership relegation in three years.

New boss Declan Kidney surely cannot now save the Exiles, who trail Worcester by nine points with only a maximum 10 on offer in their final two matches.

Prolific England number eight Simmonds took his Premiership try tally to 12 for the season - just one behind the league’s top scorer, Worcester’s Josh Adams.

Fly-half Gareth Steenson ended the day with a flawless 15-point return from the tee.