England Six Nations squad: Dylan Hartley out, four uncapped players in
Co-captain Hartley will miss the Ireland clash because of a knee injury
England head coach Eddie Jones has included four uncapped players in his 36-man squad for the 2019 Six Nations opening match against champions Ireland.
The uncapped players included are Dan Robson (Wasps), Ollie Thorley (Gloucester), Jack Singleton (Worcester Warriors) and Ben Earl (Saracens). However, there is no place in the initial squad for co-captain Dylan Hartley.
Northampton Saints hooker Hartley has a knee injury so England will be skippered by Saracens star Owen Farrell for the match in Dublin on 2 February.
The BBC reports that scrum-half Danny Care is also left out while flanker Chris Robshaw is injured. Mako Vunipola, Billy Vunipola and lock Joe Launchbury return and there is a recall for prop Dan Cole.
‘Playing the England way’
Ahead of the clash in Dublin England’s squad will fly to Portugal next Wednesday for a training camp. A matchday squad will then travel to Ireland on Thursday 31 January.
Head coach Jones said: “We are very happy with the squad and have a number of players who have come back from long-term injury. We are looking forward to getting across to Portugal and having a good ten-day preparation for the Ireland game.
“The first thing when we get together as a squad is to get our cohesion back. The players have been playing for their clubs with different styles and different playing philosophies, so it’s about getting them thinking about playing the England way.
“The second thing is to get our togetherness stronger to work as hard as we can to make sure we are well connected on and off the field so Portugal is an important camp for us.”
Ireland come into the championship as favourites to retain their Six Nations crown and Jones added: “Ireland is the best side in the world. They are a very well coached and drilled side and have particular things they do well in the game. To beat Ireland, we need to compete brutally in all the contest areas of the game.”
Head coach Jones originally named a 35-man squad for the opening Six Nations clash but he has now added Jonathan Joseph. The 40-cap centre has proved his fitness playing for Bath and will travel to the training camp in Portugal.
England’s squad to face Ireland
- Forwards: Jack Clifford (Harlequins), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs), Tom Curry (Sale Sharks), Ben Earl (Saracens), Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers), Jamie George (Saracens), Nathan Hughes (Wasps), Maro Itoje (Saracens), George Kruis (Saracens), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Ben Moon (Exeter Chiefs), Brad Shields (Wasps), Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins), Jack Singleton (Worcester Warriors), Billy Vunipola (Saracens), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs), Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons)
- Backs: Chris Ashton (Sale Sharks), Mike Brown (Harlequins), Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby), Elliot Daly (Wasps), Ollie Devoto (Exeter Chiefs), Owen Farrell (Saracens, captain), George Ford (Leicester Tigers), Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby), Jonny May (Leicester Tigers), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), Dan Robson (Wasps), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors), Ollie Thorley (Gloucester Rugby), Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)
- Players unavailable due to injury: Piers Francis (Northampton Saints), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby), Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby)
2019 Six Nations fixtures and TV guide
- 1 February: France vs. Wales (8pm, live on BBC)
- 2 February: Scotland vs. Italy (2.15pm, live on BBC); Ireland vs. England (4.45pm, live on ITV)
- 9 February: Scotland vs. Ireland (2.15pm, live on BBC); Italy vs. Wales (4.45pm, live on ITV)
- 10 February: England vs. France (3pm, live on ITV)
- 23 February: France vs. Scotland (2.15pm, live on BBC); Wales vs. England (4.45pm, live on BBC)
- 24 February: Italy vs. Ireland (3pm, live on ITV)
- 9 March: Scotland vs. Wales (2.15pm, live on BBC); England vs. Italy (3pm, live on ITV)
- 10 March: Ireland vs. France (4.45pm, live on ITV)
- 16 March: Italy vs. France (12.30pm, live on ITV); Wales vs. Ireland (2.45pm, live on BBC)
- 17 March: England vs. Scotland (5pm, live on BBC)