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England looking for boost ahead of Ireland finale

SPOTLIGHT: England is increasingly confident that centre Henry Slade will be fit for their Six Nations finale away to Ireland on Saturday.

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Slade suffered a calf problem during training on Monday that called into question his availability for the match at Lansdowne Road.

But England forwards coach Matt Proudfoot said Wednesday: “Henry is doing rehab and is doing really, really well. He will be travelling with us to Dublin and we’ll give him all opportunity to be ready.

“If he keeps progressing it’s going to look good for him.”

Slade has started every England match of this Six Nations, a sign of the faith that coach Eddie Jones has in the 27-year-old Exeter midfielder.

The 38-times capped Slade was in fine form during England’s 23-21 win over France at Twickenham last weekend that came too late to salvage the reigning champions’ hopes of a successful title defence.

But should he fail to recover in time, Ollie Lawrence looks to be in line to take over at outside centre, with the experienced Elliot Daly, best known as a fullback or wing at international level, and Paolo Odogwu alternative options.

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England has added Joe Marchant to their squad as cover and the Harlequins back will travel to Dublin, with Jones set to name his team on Thursday.

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