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Big forward boost for England

SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: England boss Eddie Jones has trimmed his 36-strong squad down to 25 and has included the fit-again Jamie George.

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Jones has opted to exclude the likes of Jack Singleton, Tommy Freeman and Alex Mitchell ahead of next Saturday’s Nations Series game against Japan at Twickenham.

It was Monday lunchtime when the RFU confirmed that George, Freeman and Mitchell had been called into the squad following Sunday’s 29-30 loss to Argentina.

That unexpected defeat – the fifth for England in their nine games so far in 2022 – has heaped pressure on Jones to start getting better results just ten months out from the start of the 2023 World Cup in France.

He has kept faith, though, with 22 of last Sunday’s matchday 23, with only sub hooker Singleton dropping out of the squad to accommodate George. The latest update also confirmed that Manu Tuilagi will be available for next Saturday’s game versus Japan despite the issues he had with a blister as a starter against the Pumas.

Jone had assembled 19 forwards in camp on Monday and he has retained 14, releasing Tom Pearson, Sean Robinson, Bevan Rodd, Singleton and Hugh Tizard. In the backs, 17 were called in at the start of the week and eleven now remain. Freeman, George Furbank, Max Malins, Will Joseph, Mitchell and Caden Murley are the six players released.

England squad:

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Forwards: Alex Coles, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Tom Curry, Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Joe Heyes, Jonny Hill, Maro Itoje, David Ribbans, Sam Simmonds, Kyle Sinckler, Billy Vunipola, Mako Vunipola, Jack Willis

Backs: Joe Cokanasiga, Owen Farrell, Jonny May, Jack Nowell, Guy Porter, Henry Slade, Marcus Smith, Freddie Steward, Manu Tuilagi, Jack van Poortvliet, Ben Youngs

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