England call in three new faces

Date published: February 4 2008

Uncapped Newcastle scrum-half Lee Dickson has been called into the England training squad preparing for next Sunday's Six Nations Championship clash against Italy in Rome.

Uncapped Newcastle scrum-half Lee Dickson has been called into the England training squad preparing for next Sunday's Six Nations Championship clash against Italy in Rome.

Dickson is joined by London Irish back Shane Geraghty and Sale Sharks flanker Magnus Lund as England look to cover the injuries that cost them so dear against Wales.

All three players have joined the squad at their base in Bath.

Dickson, 22, was born in Germany, and represented Scotland at the 2004 Under-19 World Cup before switching his international allegiance to England and being part of their Under-21 World Cup campaign a year later.

He helped England Saxons record an impressive 31-13 victory over Ireland A last Friday night, a game that saw Geraghty named man of the match.

Geraghty, who switched from centre to fly-half when Gloucester's Ryan Lamb went off injured, won two caps as a replacement last season against France and Wales.

And he could be involved in Rome, especially if Jonny Wilkinson is cited on Monday for a tackle on Wales flanker Jonathan Thomas during England's 26-19 defeat at Twickenham on Saturday.

Lund also has England Test experience, but was among the first batch of players omitted by head coach Brian Ashton from World Cup contention last year.

England, reeling from the loss to Wales, have lost four players through injury.

Centre Mike Tindall is unlikely to play any further part in this season's Six Nations after suffering bruising to his liver that meant he was admitted to Hammersmith Hospital, where he remains under observation.

Wing David Strettle (foot), together with flankers Lewis Moody (Achilles) and Tom Rees (knee ligament), are also out of the Italy game and have returned to their clubs.

Ashton is due to name his starting line-up for Rome on Wednesday.