England star expects to be 'good' for Ireland
INJURY UPDATE: England captain Owen Farrell is optimistic he will be fit in time to face Ireland in the teams’ Six Nations opener at Dublin’s Lansdowne Road on February 2.
The Saracens flyhalf recently underwent surgery on a “minor” thumb injury.
“It is good,” Farrell told reporters at the Six Nations launch in London on Wednesday.
“I should be training towards the end of this week and I am confident I will be able to play against Ireland.”
Eddie Jones, the England head coach, added: “I’m confident Owen is going to play. We have got George Ford so we are well-stocked at number 10.”
England forwards Nathan Hughes (ankle), Brad Shields (side strain) and Joe Launchbury (neck) all suffered injuries while on club duty last weekend but Jones, whose squad will fly out to a warm-weather training camp in Portugal, said: “We get together later today before we fly out to Portugal.
“If we were to train, we would have 34 out of 36 available so a couple of them will be missing,” added the Australian, without saying which two players would not train.
England’s fixture against Ireland, the reigning Grand Slam champions, has been billed as the match of the tournament.
“The only thing we can do is prepare well, be 100 percent committed, and we will take it from there,” said former Australia and Japan coach Jones.
“Whether it is the biggest game of the tournament or not, it doesn’t really matter. Our job is to prepare well.”