England counts the cost of beating Azzurri
SQUAD UPDATE: Steve Borthwick is counting the cost of his first win as England coach.
Kyle Sinckler’s availability for England’s Six Nations clash with Wales has been thrown into doubt by a facial injury.
Sinckler has been omitted from a 26-man squad that will take part in a three-day training camp in London this week, although he will be present to receive treatment from England’s medics.
The Bristol prop departed as a blood replacement in the 50th minute of this past Saturday’s 31-14 victory over Italy and was unable to return, resulting in Dan Cole finishing the game at tighthead.
Sinckler impressed against Scotland and Italy, playing his part in England’s set-piece revival and showing a high work rate on both sides of the ball, and it will be hoped he can recover in time for the trip to Cardiff on Saturday week.
Borthwick can at least call on Will Stuart as his replacement, although he will have concerns over the Bath front row’s lack of game time despite including him among the 26.
Stuart has not played since dislocating his elbow in the climax to the year-end Test against South Africa and his most recent club outing was against Saracens in October, upon which he faced another spell out because of knee damage.
If Sinckler’s wound fails to heal sufficiently, Cole and Stuart will battle it out for the No.3 jersey against Warren Gatland’s men.
FORWARDS: Ollie Chessum, Dan Cole, Ben Curry, Alex Dombrandt, Ben Earl, Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Nick Isiekwe, Maro Itoje, Lewis Ludlam, Will Stuart, Mako Vunipola, Jack Walker, Jack Willis.
BACKS: Henry Arundell, Owen Farrell, Ollie Hassell-Collins, Ollie Lawrence, Max Malins, Joe Marchant, Alex Mitchell, Henry Slade, Marcus Smith, Freddie Steward, Jack van Poortvliet, Anthony Watson.