England call up Croft

Date published: March 5 2013

Leicester flank Tom Croft has been called into England's squad to prepare for Sunday's Six Nations clash with Italy at Twickenham.

Leicester Tigers flank Tom Croft has been called into the England squad to prepare for Sunday's Six Nations clash with Italy at Twickenham.

Bad news for England fans however is that fly-half Owen Farrell is set to miss the penultimate match of the championship after failing to recover from a thigh strain sustained against France.

Croft is one of 36 players to meet up at Pennyhill Park on Monday and England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster is pleased to welcome the Leicester Tigers back-row to his first England training camp of the season.

“The indications last week were that it might be a bit early for Tom to get involved in this Six Nations,” said Lancaster.

“But having played back-to-back games he has now had the all clear from the specialist and Leicester's and our medics. I also had a good chat with Richard Cockerill; he is happy with his form and we can clearly see he is playing well, but most importantly Tom feels he is ready – it's great to have him back in.

“We have competition in all places but the back row is very competitive and to have Tom available just adds to that so we are looking forward to seeing how he does this week. We are also bringing in Calum Clark as we want to keep supporting him and be involved during his recovery.”

In Farrell's absence, Toby Flood will start against Italy.

“Owen's still got the quad injury which I want to make sure has settled down completely. It's fair to say that you can read into that that Toby Flood will be starting,” said Lancaster.

Alex Corbisiero (London Irish), Farrell (Saracens) and Ben Morgan (Gloucester Rugby) will also continue their recovery in camp.

England training squad:

Chris Ashton (Saracens), Brad Barritt (Saracens), Mouritz Botha (Saracens), Mike Brown (Harlequins), Freddie Burns (Gloucester ), Danny Care (Harlequins), Calum Clark (Northampton Saints), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers) , Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints), Alex Corbisiero (London Irish), Owen Farrell (Saracens), Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers), Ben Foden (Northampton Saints), Alex Goode (Saracens), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), James Haskell (London Wasps), Matt Kvesic (Worcester Warriors), Joe Launchbury (London Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Ben Morgan (Gloucester ), Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins) , David Strettle (Saracens), Henry Thomas (Sale Sharks), Joel Tomkins (Saracens), Manusamoa Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester ), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Billy Vunipola (London Wasps), David Wilson (Bath ), Thomas Waldrom (Leicester Tigers), Tom Wood (Northampton Saints), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers), Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers).