Ford finally gets his England recall
INJURY UPDATE: Flyhalf George Ford has received a belated call-up to the England Six Nations team.
Eddie Jones’ side have met in Brighton on Monday to begin training for the Six Nations.
And there was more bad news on the injury front.
Jonny May has withdrawn from the England men’s squad with a knee injury.
Courtney Lawes is unavailable to train this week as he is undergoing head injury return to play protocols.
Elliot Daly and Ford have been called up to the squad, while Nick Isiekwe has also joined as injury cover for Lawes.
Ford’s recall, after he was left out of the original squad, comes in the wake of England captain Owen Farrell’s latest injury setback.
Farrell’s Saracens club said at the weekend that he had sustained a fresh injury in training.
The 30-year-old was named as skipper when England coach Eddie Jones unveiled his training squad for the tournament last week, even though he has not played any rugby since suffering an ankle injury against Australia in November.
The 28-year-old Ford did not feature during the November internationals, winning the last of his 77 England caps against Ireland in the 2021 Six Nations.
England’s Six Nations opener is on February 5 against Scotland.
Following Owen Farrell’s withdrawal from the squad, Jones will now name a new team captain ahead of the Calcutta Cup fixture.
England will then travel to Rome to face Italy (Sunday, February 13) before two home games at Twickenham Stadium against Wales (Saturday, February 26) and Ireland (Saturday, March 12).
Their final game is in Paris against France on Saturday, March 19.
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It had been hoped Farrell, a veteran of 100 Tests, would return to action for Saracens in their European Challenge Cup clash at home to London Irish this past Sunday – two weeks before the start of the Six Nations.
However, Farrell, who plays at flyhalf or centre, has been sidelined with an undisclosed problem.
Saracens said in a statement that the player had “suffered an injury in training this week ahead of the game against London Irish, ruling him out of the match”.
With Marcus Smith having impressed for England at flyhalf against the Springboks, the expectation was that Farrell, if fit, would line up at inside centre alongside the Harlequins rising star against Scotland.
Jones, who has maintained George Ford’s international exile despite the Leicester flyhalf’s excellent start to the season, defended his decision to recall Farrell as captain by saying last Tuesday: “We believe Owen can get into his best form very quickly and we believe he will be right to play against Scotland.”
England’s first game is against Scotland in Edinburgh on Saturday 5 February.