Maro Itoje sidelined until Six Nations climax

Date published: February 5 2019

England second-row Maro Itoje has been ruled out until towards the end of the Six Nations after suffering a knee ligament injury against Ireland.

Saracens lock Nick Isiekwe has been named in Itoje’s place as England prepare to take on France in Round Two at Twickenham this weekend.

England head coach Eddie Jones has called up 35 players, with the uncapped Jack Singleton, Ben Earl, Dan Robson and Ollie Thorley named.

It’s likely that either Joe Launchbury or Courtney Lawes will start in Itoje’s position on Sunday, with few other changes expected by Jones.

England impressed in their tournament opener against the Irish in Dublin, claiming a 32-20 win in a bonus-point success over the holders.

England squad for France Test

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), Nick Isiekwe (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), Elliot Daly (Wasps), Ollie Devoto (Exeter Chiefs), Owen Farrell (Saracens), George Ford (Leicester Tigers), Jonny May (Leicester Tigers), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), Dan Robson (Wasps), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors), Ollie Thorley (Gloucester), Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

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