Courtney Lawes withdrew from England’s Six Nations squad due to a calf injury, continuing an extremely frustrating season for the 33-year-old and rescuing Steve Borthwick from one of his assistant captains.
Lawes limped off within half an hour after the Northampton Saints’ loss to La Rochelle on Saturday. It was only the third start of a campaign that was interrupted by a concussion and hip muscle problem. Lawes’ Northampton colleague and surprisingly neglected first team David Ribbans was called up.
Meanwhile, England is facing an injury crisis in the prostitute following George McGuigan’s knee injury. Tom Dunn went to Pennyhill Park to attend a five-day training camp.
Luke Cowan-Dickie was also injured, while Jamie George suffered a concussion in the first half of the Saracens’ loss to Edinburgh on Sunday evening. He will face a withdrawal period of at least 12 days and may still face a ban, given that he was injured in a rough tackle against Luke Crosbie. Hatless Jack Walker is the third hooker in the England squad.
Lawes was captain of the team last summer in the series they beat Australia 2-1. Borthwick appointed him as one of the two assistant captains under Owen Farrell, along with Ellis Genge, and was enthusiastic in his praise of Lawes. England defensive coach Kevin Sinfield was equally enthusiastic.
“The way Courtney influences those around her by what she does, not what she says, is contagious,” Sinfield said a week ago. “If someone’s playing 7 out of 10 and they’re with Courtney, you suddenly get an 8 or 9. It’s an incredible quality and it’s there.”
The call of Ribbans will be the first step in what England’s back five need to be reshaped. Alongside Ribbans, Borthwick has Maro Itoje, Jonny Hill, Ollie Chessum and Nick Isiekwe as back rowers Lewis Ludlam, Ben Curry, Ben Earl, Jack Willis, Alex Dombrandt and Sam Simmonds.
Chessum, who was previously assigned by Eddie Jones as a player capable of fulfilling a role similar to Lawes’s as a blind winger jumping from the line-up, will also enter the back row showdown.
Who is in England’s Six Nations squad?
Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers, 5 times)
Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 95 times)
Ben Curry (Sales Sharks, 1 person)
Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins, 9 capital letters)
Tom Dunn (Bath, 3 times)
Ben Earl (Saracens, 13 people)
Ellis Genge (Bristol Bears, 43 times)
Jamie George (Saracens, 72 times)
Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers, 7 times)
Jonny Hill (Sales Sharks, 19 people)
Nick Isiekwe (Saracens, 8 times)
Maro Itoje (Saracens, 62 people)
Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, 14 times)
Dave Ribbans (Northampton Saints, 4 times)
Bevan Rodd (Sales Sharks, 2 people)
Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs, 18 times)
Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 56 times)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 74 times)
Jack Walker (Harlequins, capless)
Jack Willis (Toulouse, 6 times)
Elliot Daly (Saracens, 57 people)
Owen Farrell (Saracens, 101 times)
Tommy Freeman (Northampton Saints, 3 times)
Ollie Hassell-Collins (London Irish, capless)
Dan Kelly (Leicester Tigers, 1 captain)
Max Malins (Saracens, 14 capital letters)
Joe Marchant (Harlequins, 13 capital letters)
Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints, 1 person)
Cadan Murley (Harlequins, capless)
Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 52 times)
Fin Smith (Northampton Saints, capless)
Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 17 capital letters)
Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 17 times)
Manu Tuilagi (Sales Sharks, 50 people)
Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers, 7 times)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 121 times)
Jack Nowell, Jonny May and Billy Vunipola, who were not included in the Borthwick squad, all played for major England teams during Eddie Jones’ tenure.
As Borthwick seeks new top-form talent for his clubs, their lack of interest provides the clearest indication yet that the new regime is breaking up with the old.
Other notable names to be left out include Alex Coles, Hugh Tizzard, Val Rapava Ruskin, Joe Cokanasiga and George Furbank.
Who was injured?
As always, Borthwick had to drop some players due to injuries.
Loss of star winger tom curry and the whore of Exeter Luke Cowan-Dickie It will be particularly painful as they would probably be a start against Scotland if they were both in shape.
Injuries keep winger dynamic Henry Arundell while out of contention, Jack Singleton, man concierge and Raffi Quirke all were excluded.
Courtney Lawes The retreat is the final blow for Borthwick. and knee injury George McGuiganplus Jamie George’s The concussion created a major problem for the prostitute.