England suffers double blow
SQUAD UPDATE: England has been forced to withdraw two key players from their Six Nations training squad.
Seasoned forwards Joe Launchbury and Joe Marler have withdrawn from the squad.
Launchbury is out through injury, with a fibia stress fracture, and Joe Marler has withdrawn for personal reasons.
Charlie Ewels and Tom West will join the tournament squad, marking West’s first England senior call-up.
Always grateful for the opportunity so not an easy decision, but want to do right by my family in these crazy times and won’t be meeting up with the squad for this tournament. Look forward to watching the team rip in. Go well 🌹 x
— Joe Marler (@JoeMarler) January 25, 2021
It’s a significant blow for England, especially in the front row, with Eddie Jones’ already without loosehead Mako Vunipola, who is recovering from an Achille’s injury.
Marler’s move, just three days after he was named in Eddie Jones’ 28-man squad, leaves Ellis Genge as the only capped loosehead prop for England’s tournament opener against oldest rivals Scotland at Twickenham on February 6.
Eddie Jones’ side will meet at St. George’s Park on Wednesday, January 27, where they will begin their preparations for the Six Nations.
England’s opening game is against Scotland at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday, February 6.