Jones not seeking Farrell's alternative...yet
NEWS: England coach Eddie Jones is “cautiously optimistic” of Owen Farrell’s chance of being fit for the Six Nations opener against Ireland.
Despite the Saracens flyhalf needing surgery to fix a thumb injury.
Farrell – who this week was named England’s captain with Dylan Hartley ruled out for the start of the tournament with a knee issue – sat out Saracens’ European Champions Cup fixture with Glasgow Warriors on Saturday.
Director of rugby Mark McCall confirmed to BT Sports that the flyhalf required “a simple procedure” at the base of his thumb and his recovery could take up to 10 days.
While the timeframe is tight with the Ireland game on February 2, Jones is upbeat over the influential 27-year-old’s chances of featuring at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
“I came from Saracens, they had a good win. We’re cautiously optimistic, he should be alright,” he told Sky Sports News.
Were Farrell ruled out, his place as England starting flyhalf would likely go to back-up George Ford, with Henry Slade then providing bench cover.
Another alternative option could be to recall Danny Cipriani, although this would be something of a surprise move given the Gloucester No.10 was left out of Jones’ 35-man training squad announced on Thursday.
Should Farrell be sidelined too, Ford could take over leadership as well as flyhalf duties given he captained England in a win against 2019 World Cup hosts Japan at Twickenham in November.
Jones and his players head for Portugal on Wednesday for a training camp before the Australian names his 25-man party to face Ireland on January 31.
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