Jack Nowell’s ankle injury has kept him out of England’s squad for the Six Nations, making him one of 10 absentees from the recent World Cup.
Nowell played for Exeter in Saturday’s Champions Cup victory over La Rochelle but his injury, which requires an operation, means he is excluded from the 34 names picked by Eddie Jones for the 2020 Championship. Also missing from the 32 players who helped England reach the World Cup final are Jack Singleton, Mark Wilson, Dan Cole, Billy Vunipola, Henry Slade, Piers Francis, Joe Cokanasiga, Ben Spencer and Ruaridh McConnochie.
Many of the Japan 2019 casualties are injured. However, Jones has opted against calling up specialist No 8 cover for the injured Vunipola.
Competing to deputise for Vunipola in the back row are Tom Curry, Lewis Ludlam and Ben Earl. Earl is among eight uncapped players who travel to Portugal on Thursday for a pre-Six Nations training camp with the exciting Saracen back-row joined by hooker Tom Dunn, wing Ollie Thorley, centre Fraser Dingwall, full-back George Furbank, lock Alex Moon, prop Will Stuart and fly-half Jacob Umaga.
Umaga, nephew of the former New Zealand captain Tana Umaga, is included ahead of Marcus Smith who trained with England in the build-up to the World Cup.
England begin their Six Nations title quest away to France on 2 February.
“It is always about winning the next game, so we have picked the best squad available,” Jones said. “At the same time we wanted to bring some young players in because we need to keep building our depth. So for those new players it’s an exciting opportunity for them.”
More information: THE GUARDIAN.