England's Rugby Squad

Big Change in England’s Squad Ahead of Six Nations Rugby

George Ford is expected to be called up to England’s Six Nations team to replace the injured captain Owen Farrell. After leaving Farrell out of the first 36-man squad, head coach Eddie Jones will turn to Ford in the opening against Scotland. Despite his excellent club form, 77-cap Ford has been ignored since the fall, with Marcus Smith dominating at number 10.


Courtney Lawes is the favorite to captain the team in Farrell’s absence, with the extent of Farrell’s injury still unknown.

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall revealed on Sunday that Farrell will miss at least the first half of the Championship after injuring his ankle during club training in midweek. On Monday, the 30-year-old will consult a specialist.

Farrell’s ankle injury is distinct from the one he suffered against Australia in November, which has kept him out for the last two months.

Jones had intended to pair Smith and Farrell in the England midfield, as he said on the BBC Rugby Union Weekly podcast, but he will now have to reconsider, with Mark Atkinson, Henry Slade, Joe Marchant, and rookie Luke North more all available.

With Bath’s uncapped Orlando Bailey the only other specialist stand-off in the group, Ford, 28, is set to be back in the matchday 23 right away, though Smith is still anticipated to start.

England will have a training camp in Brighton this week before stepping up preparations for the Calcutta Cup match at Murrayfield.

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