CONFIRMED: Three return for England but one key player still injured ahead of Calcutta Cup

Colin Newboult
England head coach Steve Borthwick during the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

England head coach Steve Borthwick.

England have announced their wider training squad for the clash with Scotland next week, with three players back in the selection mix.

Among the 36-man group are injury-returnees Manu Tuilagi, Luke Cowan-Dickie and George Martin, who missed their victories over Italy and Wales.

According to a report in the Telegraph, Ollie Lawrence was also expected to be involved, but he is not on the main list, although he will come into camp to continue his rehab.

Marcus Smith absent

With three players coming in, that means individuals also have to be released by England. One of those in particular is not a surprise, with Marcus Smith being omitted following his calf issue.

The fly-half was expected to start against Italy but suffered an injury in training and is unlikely to feature in this year’s Six Nations.

There is the slight possibility of Smith making the latter stages of the tournament, and like Lawrence, he will join up with the squad for rehab, but any on-field participation is doubtful.

Tuilagi has been brought in to replace the Harlequins pivot, as Steve Borthwick retains only two fly-halves, George Ford and Fin Smith.

Should one of those go down then the Red Rose have cover in the form of Henry Slade and George Furbank, who have plenty of experience in the number 10 shirt.

Other released players

Up front, Jamie Blamire was called into the squad to stand in for Cowan-Dickie, so it is no shock that he has returned to Newcastle Falcons now that the 30-year-old has recovered from injury.

The Sale Sharks hooker will now vie with Theo Dan, who has shone in the opening two rounds, for a place on the bench, with captain Jamie George guaranteed to start.

Finally, back five forward Martin has replaced openside flanker Tom Pearson, who has been released back to Northampton Saints.

England are preparing for their third clash in the 2024 Six Nations after claiming wins over Italy (27-24) and Wales (16-14).

They take on Scotland at Murrayfield in February before they finish off the tournament with matches against Ireland and France in March.

READ MORE: Was George Ford’s denied conversion during England v Wales the correct call?