Owen Farrell set to start at No 10 for England in Six Nations finale against Italy with George Ford missing out due to Achilles issue… as Eddie Jones calls up uncapped Wasps duo Jack Willis and Jacob Umaga in 36-man squad
- Eddie Jones has named a 36-man squad for Italy and the Autumn Nations Cup
- England captain Owen Farrell is set to start at No 10 in Rome following a ban
- George Ford is not fit enough to play because of a nagging Achilles problem
- Jones has included uncapped Wasps duo Jack Willis and Jacob Umaga in squad
- Joe Cokanasiga is involved for first time since being injured at the World Cup
England captain Owen Farrell is set to reclaim the No 10 shirt against Italy on Saturday as George Ford will miss the Six Nations finale in Rome.
Eddie Jones has announced a squad of 36 for the rescheduled encounter with the Azzurri and Ford has not been included.
Instead, the Leicester playmaker is named as one of three players coming in to camp for ‘reconditioning’, along with Elliot Daly and Joe Marler. None of the trio are deemed to be available for selection for the national team’s first Test since lockdown.
England captain Owen Farrell is set to start at No 10 against Italy following a ban last month
George Ford will play no part in Rome as he tries to recover from a troublesome Achilles injury
England coach Eddie Jones is preparing for games against Italy, Wales, Georgia and Ireland
Joe Cokanasiga, Owen Farrell, George Furbank, Willi Heinz, Jonathan Joseph, Ollie Lawrence, Max Malins, Joe Marchant, Jonny May, Dan Robson, Henry Slade, Ollie Thorley, Jacob Umaga, Anthony Watson, Ben Youngs
Tom Curry, Tom Dunn, Ben Earl, Charlie Ewels, Ellis GengE, Jamie George, Jonny Hill, Ted Hill, Maro Itoje, Joe Launchbury, Lewis Ludlam, Beno Obano, David Ribbans, Jack Singleton, Kyle Sinckler, Will Stuart, Sam Underhill, Billy Vunipola, Mako Vunipola, Harry Williams, Jack Willis
With Ford ruled out due to a nagging Achilles problem, Farrell is poised to line up at fly-half in his first match for club or country since being banned for a high tackle early last month.
The Red Rose skipper has regularly started at inside centre, in a 10-12 alliance with close friend Ford – only wearing No 10 in one of his last 10 international appearances. Wasps’ rookie stand-off Jacob Umaga is now in contention to make his debut as a replacement at Stadio Olimpico, after being called up.
As revealed by Sportsmail, Jones has added the following seven players to his squad from the Premiership Final clubs, Exeter and Wasps; Jonny Hill, Henry Slade, Harry Williams, Joe Launchbury, Dan Robson, Umaga and Jack Willis. Chiefs hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie has been added to a growing casualty list, although the nature of the injury which requires surgery is not yet known.
The other players listed as unavailable are Courtney Lawes, Manu Tuilagi, Jack Nowell, Mark Wilson and rookie Saracens wing Ali Crossdale – who had emerged as a shock contender for a starting place. His withdrawal from the selection equation has prompted Jones to summon giant Bath wing Joe Cokanasiga, who hasn’t represented his country since suffering serious knee damage at last year’s World Cup.
Jack Willis has been named in England’s squad following a brilliant season with Wasps
Wasps’ Jacob Umaga has earned a surprise call-up to Eddie Jones’ latest England squad
Joe Simmonds (centre) and his brother Sam are among those to have missed out on the squad
England missed out on the chance to tune up for the Italy match when their non-cap encounter with the Barbarians was cancelled due to breaches of COVID protocols by a group of Barbarians players.
Jones said: ‘We were obviously disappointed with the postponement of the Barbarians game but we moved to plan B, had a highly competitive training session instead of the match and now we are fully focused on the Italy game and the goal of winning the Six Nations.
‘We’ve got a good balance between experience and inexperience. With nine players out injured, it does create opportunities for the younger guys to show what they can do. We’re very happy with what we’ve seen in the mini-camps and the Barbarians training week. It’s been really competitive.’
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