Six Nations

England recall Ford to Six Nations squad for injured captain Farrell

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George Ford (Getty Images)
George Ford (Getty Images)

George Ford has a chance to revive his international career after being called up on Monday into England's training squad for the upcoming Six Nations as a replacement for the injured Owen Farrell.

Ford has been in fine form for Premiership leaders Leicester Tigers this season but the fly-half was omitted from England coach Eddie Jones' 36-man squad announced last week.

The 28-year-old did not feature during the November internationals, with Harlequins fly-half Marcus Smith selected as England's No 10.

Ford won the last of his 77 England caps in March, during a 32-18 loss away to Ireland in the 2021 Six Nations.

Jones named Farrell, a childhood friend of Ford, as England skipper last week, even though the fly-half/centre has not played any rugby since suffering an ankle injury against Australia in November.

But a fresh ankle injury suffered while the 30-year-old trained with club side Saracens has ruled Farrell out of England's tournament opener at Scotland on February 5.

England suffered another setback on Monday when wing Jonny May withdrew because of a knee injury.

May's place in the squad has been taken by experienced utility back Elliot Daly, who can play at full-back, on the wing and in the centre.

Courtney Lawes, widely tipped to lead England in Farrell's absence for the Calcutta Cup clash at Murrayfield given he stood-in as captain for England's victories over Tonga and world champions South Africa in November, is unable to train this week due to concussion.

A statement issued by England's governing Rugby Football Union said: "Following Owen Farrell's withdrawal from the squad, Jones will now name a new team captain ahead of the Calcutta Cup fixture."

Nick Isiekwe of Saracens has been called into the squad as a replacement for Northampton Saints forward Lawes.

It appeared that Jones was planning to play Farrell at inside centre, alongside fly-half Smith, against Scotland.

But the veteran Australian coach will now have to look again at his 10-12 pairing in the lead-up to the latest edition of rugby union's oldest international fixture, with Henry Slade, Mark Atkinson, Joe Marchant and the uncapped Luke Northmore all candidates for the inside centre role.

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