England captain Dylan Hartley is set to undergo a “game-like training session” to prove his fitness, according to Eddie Jones.
Hartley has been suspended since Northampton’s Champions Cup match with Leinster back in December, when he was shown a red card for striking and consequently banned for six weeks.
Jones has been impressed with Hartley’s overall fitness but added that the England hooker needs to prove his match fitness in order to be selected to face France on February 4.
While Hartley’s ban does finish on January 23, he is unlikely to feature in the Anglo-Welsh Cup matches for his Northampton.
“Dylan has been training the house down, and we expect him to be ready to go,” Jones told the BBC.
“He’s got a few hurdles he still has to jump, and if he jumps those and jumps them well, he’ll be captain of the side.
“I have never seen him in better physical condition. He is training very hard. He is going to have a game-like training session tomorrow (Wednesday) I believe and we will see how fit he is,” he additionally told Sky Sports.
“We are anticipating that he is going to be right and ready to go for the Six Nations.”
Jones also gave a positive update on Joe Marler, who was expected to miss most of the Six Nations with a fractured leg but is recovering better than expected.
“His recuperation might be quicker than we think,” added Jones. “There is always a chance. There is certainly hope there.”