England: Jamie George retained in squad but Jonny Hill and Jack Willis released ahead of Six Nations clash with Scotland

Adam Kyriacou
Jamie George and Jonny Hill

England have released seven players from their squad as they continue preparations for their Six Nations game against Scotland on Saturday.

Jack Willis, Jonny Hill, Bevan Rodd, Joe Heyes, Alex Mitchell, Cadan Murley and Guy Porter have all been sent back to their club outfits on Tuesday evening.

However, Jamie George is retained in the group as the hooker seems to be on track to feature for England at Twickenham after a concussion on January 22.

Positive signs for hooker George

The Saracens hooker was initially withdrawn from Steve Borthwick’s squad but he is included in the 29-player group at their training camp ahead of Saturday.

“He is working through the protocols and we expect him to be available for selection,” said defence coach Kevin Sinfield as the Six Nations kick off looms.

“He’s thrown today, and it’s a gradual build-up through the protocols, so at the minute he’s on track to be available.”

George’s inclusion in the squad building up to the weekend is a relief to England, particularly after senior players such as Courtney Lawes were ruled out.

Sinfield added: “We’ve spoken about Courtney already, and Jamie is very much a leader in the group.

“To have his influence here in the week has been really good for the team. He’s been around, knows how to win big games and that’s important for us.”

Willis a wonderful talent

On the decision to drop Willis from the squad, he added: “That is for people higher than me to decide. What I will say is what a wonderful talent he is.

“He is desperate to play for England and I know his situation is tricky at the moment, hopefully for the next seven or eight weeks we have more opportunity to have him in camp. Then we’ll see.”

Sinfield is also hopeful that Lawes (calf) and Henry Slade (hip) could return to the squad ahead of England’s second run-out, against Italy next Sunday.

“I hope they are because I would love to have them both available,” he said.

“Courtney has not been on the field yet. Henry has been part of the session and we have seen a glimpse of what he can do.

“I am really excited about the prospect of working with both of them but at the moment they are not available.”

Revised England squad

Forwards: Ollie Chessum, Dan Cole, Ben Curry, Alex Dombrandt, Tom Dunn, Ben Earl, Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Nick Isiekwe, Maro Itoje, Lewis Ludlam, David Ribbans, Sam Simmonds, Kyle Sinckler, Mako Vunipola, Jack Walker

Backs: Owen Farrell, Tommy Freeman, Ollie Hassell-Collins, Ollie Lawrence, Max Malins, Joe Marchant, Fin Smith, Marcus Smith, Freddie Steward, Manu Tuilagi, Jack van Poortvliet, Anthony Watson, Ben Youngs

READ MORE: Six Nations: The greatest line-up in the history of the Championship