Jamie George and Elliot Daly have withdrawn from England's Six Nations squad due to injury.

Hooker George has been sidelined by concussion after taking a blow in Saracens' European Champions Cup defeat at Edinburgh last weekend.

Versatile back Daly has been ruled out with a hamstring injury as the Red Rose prepare to face Scotland in their first game of the tournament a week on Saturday.

Jamie Blamire and Ollie Lawrence were on Tuesday called up as replacements for the experienced duo.

England head coach Steve Borthwick is also set to be without Courtney Lawes for his first match in charge at Twickenham next week, as the towering lock is struggling with calf injury.

Hooker George McGuigan (knee) is also in the treatment room along with Luke Cowan-Dickie (ankle).

Blamire, Tom Dunn and the uncapped Jack Walker are the remaining hooker options for Borthwick.

Courtney Lawes and George McGuigan have both been forced to withdraw from England's training squad for the Six Nations.

Vice-captain Lawes suffered a calf injury playing for Northampton Saints against La Rochelle in the Champions Cup on Saturday, while McGuigan has sustained a knee issue.

New coach Steve Borthwick has already lost Luke Cowan-Dickie to an ankle injury, with the hooker certain to miss at least the start of the tournament, while Jamie George suffered a concussion playing for Saracens in the Champions Cup on Sunday.

Tom Dunn and David Ribbans have been called up in place of Lawes and McGuigan.

England's Six Nations campaign begins against Scotland at Twickenham on February 4.

Joey Carbery and Robbie Henshaw have been omitted from Ireland's Six Nations squad but the uncapped Jamie Osborne has been included.

Carbery has been seen as the long-term successor to fly-half Johnny Sexton, who will retire after the Rugby World Cup in France this year.

There is no place for the Munster number 10 in Andy Farrell's 37-man Six Nations squad, though, as Ross Byrne and Jack Crowley were given the nod as back-ups to captain Sexton.

Centre Henshaw has endured an injury-hit season and is currently sidelined with a wrist problem, so he was overlooked by head coach Farrell.

Fellow centre Osborne, 21, is the only uncapped player in the squad as the top-ranked team in the world target a first Six Nations title in five years.

Ireland start the tournament with a trip to the Principality Stadium for Warren Gatland's first game since returning for a second spell as Wales head coach on February 4.

Farrell said: "The Six Nations is a huge competition for us and another opportunity for us to grow as a group. 2022 was a busy year as we got to work with a larger group of players as we continued to build our squad depth and competition for places.

"While there are a few players carrying knocks and others that have missed out on selection for the start of the tournament, they will have the opportunity to push their case playing for their provinces in the URC over the coming weeks as no doubt we will need to call upon the wider group as the tournament progresses."

 

Ireland squad:

Forwards: Ryan Baird, Finlay Bealham, Tadhg Beirne, Jack Conan, Gavin Coombes, Caelan Doris, Tadhg Furlong, Cian Healy, Iain Henderson, Rob Herring, Ronan Kelleher, Dave Kilcoyne, Joe McCarthy, Peter O'Mahony, Tom O'Toole, Andrew Porter, Cian Prendergast, James Ryan, Dan Sheehan, Josh van der Flier.

Backs: Bundee Aki, Ross Byrne, Craig Casey, Jack Crowley, Keith Earls, Jamison Gibson Park, Mack Hansen, Hugo Keenan, Jordan Larmour, James Lowe, Stuart McCloskey, Conor Murray, Jimmy O’Brien, Jamie Osborne, Garry Ringrose, Johnny Sexton (captain), Jacob Stockdale.

Gregor Townsend knows the upcoming Six Nations could be his last in charge of Scotland as he revealed he has been contacted by France.

Townsend named his Six Nations squad on Tuesday with four uncapped players included in the 40-man selection.

That includes Ben Healy, who has qualified to play for Scotland through his mother, as well as Ruaridh McConnochie, who has previously played for England.

The 49-year-old has been in charge of Scotland since 2017, but his contract is up after this year's Rugby World Cup in France, which starts in September.

Townsend told reporters he would like clarity on his situation before the tournament begins but knows he might "have to wait and see".

"No discussions have been had, and I don't see them taking place until after the Six Nations," he added.

When asked if this could be his last Six Nations as Scotland coach, Townsend replied: "I'm not contracted beyond this year, so of course."

Meanwhile, Townsend confirmed reports he had been contacted over the possibility of joining France's set-up in the wake of the World Cup. 

"I did get a contact from France," he said. "It was just an initial enquiry and there was nothing further from that because we obviously play France in the Six Nations, so I didn't want to talk any further with them about that."

Scotland take on England at Twickenham in their opening Six Nations match on February 4.

Scotland's Six Nations squad

Forwards: Ewan Ashman, Josh Bayliss, Simon Berghan, Jamie Bhatti, Fraser Brown, Dave Cherry, Andy Christie, Luke Crosbie, Jack Dempsey, Matt Fagerson, Zander Fagerson, Grant Gilchrist, Jonny Gray, Richie Gray, Cameron Henderson, WP Nel, Jamie Ritchie (captain), Pierre Schoeman, Javan Sebastian, Sam Skinner, Rory Sutherland, George Turner, Hamish Watson.

Backs: Chris Harris, Ben Healy, Stuart Hogg, George Horne, Huw Jones, Blair Kinghorn, Sean Maitland, Ruaridh McConnochie, Stafford McDowell, Ali Price, Cameron Redpath, Finn Russell, Ollie Smith, Kyle Steyn, Sione Tuipulotu, Duhan van der Merwe, Ben White.

Fabien Galthie has included eight uncapped players in France's Six Nations squad.

Les Bleus ended a 12-year wait for both a Six Nations title and a Grand Slam last year.

The holders won all 10 matches they played in a glorious 2022 and must kick on as they gear up for a Rugby World Cup on home soil that starts in September.

Emilien Gailleton, Louis Bielle-Biarrey, Leo Coly and Nolann Le Garrec are among the players who will be hoping to make their debuts in the Six Nations.

The same goes for Paul Boudehent, Julien Delbouis, Romain Buros and Ethan Dumortier.

Galthie will have to do without the injured Cameron Woki, Peato Mauvaka, Maxime Lucu, Baptiste Couilloud and centre Jonathan Danty.

He will be able to welcome, however, be able to welcome back Paul Willemse and Francois Cros.

France start their quest to retain the title with a trip to Rome to face Italy at Stadio Olimpico on February 5.

France Six Nations squad

Forwards: Gregory Alldritt, Uini Atonio, Cyril Baille, Gaetan Barlot, Teddy Baubigny, Alexandre Becognee, Paul Boudehent, Yacouba Camara, Bastien Chalureau, Dylan Cretin, Francois Cros, Sipili Falatea, Thibaud Flament, Mohamed Haouas, Anthony Jelonch, Thomas Jolmes, Thomas Lavault, Sekou Macalou, Julien Marchand, Charles Ollivon (captain), Dany Priso, Romain Taofifenua, Reda Wardi, Paul Willemse.

Backs: Louis Bielle-Biarrey, Romain Buros, Leo Coly, Julien Delbouis, Ethan Dumortier, Antoine Dupont ,Gael Fickou, Emilien Gailleton, Antoine Hastoy, Matthieu Jalibert, Melvyn Jaminet, Matthis Lebel, Nolann Le Garrec, Pierre-Louis Barassi, Yoram Moefana, Romain Ntamack, Damian Penaud, Thomas Ramos.

Ken Owens will captain Wales in the Six Nations and Warren Gatland has included four uncapped players in his 37-man squad.

Hooker Owens takes over as skipper from Justin Tipuric, who led the side for the Autumn Nations Series encounters last year.

The fit-again Wyn Jones, Dewi Lake and Liam Williams return in Gatland's first squad since he returned for a second spell as head coach, replacing the sacked Wayne Pivac.

New Zealander Gatland has recalled Leon Brown, Rhys Carre, Rhys Patchell, Aaron Wainwright, Rhys Webb and Owen Williams.

The uncapped Rhys Davies, Keiran Williams, Mason Grady and Teddy Williams also got the nod, while Rio Dyer, Joe Hawkins and Dafydd Jenkins are in line to make their Six Nations debuts.

Gatland said of naming Owens as captain: "Ken's incredibly experienced and a passionate Welshman – it means a lot to him to play for Wales. He's also very popular with the players.

"He came back from injury and was absolutely outstanding during the autumn campaign. Probably, if you're picking a team at the moment he's the number one in that position. But he's going to have some competition with Dewi and Bradley [Roberts] as well, which is going to be great."

Gatland has completed his coaching team by appointing Jonathan Thomas, who will take responsibility for the contact area.

Wales face Ireland at the Principality Stadium in their first match of the tournament at the Principality Stadium on February 4.

 

Wales Six Nations squad:

Forwards: Rhys Carre, Wyn Jones, Gareth Thomas, Dewi Lake, Ken Owens (captain), Bradley Roberts, Leon Brown, Tomas Francis, Dillon Lewis, Adam Beard, Rhys Davies, Dafydd Jenkins, Alun Wyn Jones, Teddy Williams, Taulupe Faletau, Jac Morgan, Tommy Reffell, Justin Tipuric, Christ Tshiunza, Aaron Wainwright.

Backs: Kieran Hardy, Rhys Webb, Tomos Williams, Dan Biggar, Rhys Patchell, Owen Williams, Mason Grady, Joe Hawkins, George North, Nick Tompkins, Keiran Williams, Josh Adams, Alex Cuthbert, Rio Dyer, Leigh Halfpenny, Louis Rees-Zammit, Liam Williams.

Steve Borthwick did not think twice about selecting Owen Farrell as captain for England's Six Nations opener against Scotland after uncertainty over his availability.

Farrell was given a four-match ban for a dangerous tackle during Saracens' clash with Gloucester on January 6, reduced to three weeks provided he completes a World Rugby tackling school programme.

The versatile 31-year-old would have missed the clash with Scotland at Twickenham on February 4, had the Rugby Football Union (RFU) not somewhat contentiously made him available for Sarries' match against Bristol a week on Saturday.

Farrell would not usually have been released to play in that game, given players are typically stood down from club duty the week before the tournament starts.

New head coach Borthwick did not hesitate to pick Farrell after being informed he was clear to face Gregor Townsend's side.

"I know there has been a period of uncertainty around Owen's availability," Borthwick said after naming his first squad on Monday.

"I was informed unequivocally by the Rugby Football Union's legal department on Friday that Owen would be available for the first game of the Six Nations.

"Owen accepts his suspension and can’t wait to be back on the field. My point of view is that I'm England head coach and my job is to select the players that are available to me.

"The disciplinary system is run completely as an independent process and I think we'd agree there should be that split – the England head coach and the disciplinary system should be completely separate, and that's the case."

Borthwick was in no doubt Farrell is the man to skipper England in a new era.

The former Leicester Tigers boss said: "I've known Owen since he was 17 or 18-years-old. Now it's normal that when a 17 or 18-year-old enters first-team training at the start of their careers, they are quiet and reserved,

"Owen's different. Owen came on to the training field and everyone was struck with awe by how hard he pushes himself.

"Everybody was also struck by how much he demanded of those around him. That's Owen, it's what he does and why he is captain of England."

Billy Vunipola, Jack Nowell and Jonny May were omitted from the squad, but Dan Cole and Elliot Daly have been recalled.

Uncapped quintet Fin Smith, Ollie Hassell-Collins, George McGuigan, Cadan Murley and Jack Walker also got the nod.

Billy Vunipola has been left out of new head coach Steve Borthwick's 36-man England squad for the upcoming Six Nations, though Owen Farrell will be kept on as captain.

Other notable omissions alongside Vunipola are Jonny May and Jack Nowell, with a combined 180 England Test appearances between the three players.

Dan Cole is included, having received the most recent of his 95 caps in the 2019 Rugby World Cup final defeat to South Africa, while Northampton Saints fly-half Fin Smith is among the five uncapped players Borthwick has picked.

The other potential debutants are London Irish's Ollie Hassell-Collins and Gloucester hooker George McGuigan, as well as Harlequins duo Cadan Murley and Jack Walker.

Farrell and Marcus Smith were also named, with the former set to remain captain having occupied the role under previous head coach Eddie Jones.

England's first game with their new boss will be against Scotland in the Six Nations at Twickenham on February 4, though they likely already have one eye on the 2023 Rugby World Cup, which begins in September.

Borthwick said: "This is an exciting squad, with a blend of Six Nations experience and young talent, and includes players who are in excellent form in the Premiership.

"We are all looking forward to the challenges of the Six Nations and we will approach this great tournament with a spirit of courage and total commitment.

"I know the players can't wait to get back to Twickenham and give our fans a performance they can be proud of.

"The hard work for the Scotland game starts now."

England squad: Forwards: Ollie Chessum, Dan Cole, Ben Curry, Alex Dombrandt, Ben Earl, Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Joe Heyes, Jonny Hill, Nick Isiekwe, Maro Itoje, Courtney Lawes, Lewis Ludlam, George McGuigan, Bevan Rodd, Sam Simmonds, Kyle Sinckler, Mako Vunipola, Jack Walker, Jack Willis.

Backs: Elliot Daly, Owen Farrell (captain), Tommy Freeman, Ollie Hassell-Collins, Dan Kelly, Max Malins, Joe Marchant, Alex Mitchell, Cadan Murley, Henry Slade, Fin Smith, Marcus Smith, Freddie Steward, Manu Tuilagi, Jack van Poortvliet, Ben Youngs.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland has added Alex King and Mike Forshaw to his backroom staff ahead of the Six Nations.

Former England fly-half King has been appointed as attack coach, with Forshaw named defence coach by Gatland.

King was Wales' attack coach during the 2017 Six Nations while Gatland was on secondment with the British and Irish Lions. He was most recently working with Premiership side Gloucester.

Forshaw arrives from Sale Sharks, with the duo joining forwards coach Jonathan Humphreys and skills coach Neil Jenkins on Gatland's team.

They have replaced Stephen Jones and Gethin Jenkins at the start of Gatland's second tenure after the New Zealander replaced sacked compatriot Wayne Pivac last month.

Wales face Ireland in the opening game of the Six Nations at the Principality Stadium on February 4.

"I'm delighted that Alex and Mike are joining the Wales coaching team," said Gatland.

"They both have plenty of experience as players and coaches, which will be hugely important to the development of the squad through the Six Nations and beyond. I'd like to thank Sale Sharks for their cooperation in the process and allowing Mike to take up this position with Wales.

"We have less than a month to our first Six Nations match against the number one side in the world which, as I've said before, is a great challenge to have first up and one that we are very excited about as a coaching group.

"Having our first match this championship at home will be very special and I'm really looking forward to getting back out at Principality Stadium in front of the best fans in rugby."

France hooker Peato Mauvaka will miss at least the start of the Six Nations after undergoing surgery on a broken finger.

The 26-year-old has been capped 18 times by France and was used in all five matches in last year's tournament, which France won to end their 12-year wait for the trophy.

However, Mauvaka is now in a race against time to play a part in this year's edition due to an injury sustained in club side Toulouse's loss to La Rochelle in the Top 14 last weekend.

France head coach Fabien Galthie indicated on Tuesday that Mauvaka would be out for around three weeks, but his lay-off looks set to extend beyond then.

Providing an update on Wednesday, Toulouse coach Ugo Mola said: "Peato will be operated on this Friday. His absence will unfortunately be longer than three weeks."

France begin their Six Nations defence against Italy on February 5 – three and a half weeks' time – and have a difficult trip to Ireland six days later.

Galthie's men then face Scotland on February 26 and England on March 11, before concluding their campaign at home to Wales on March 18.

Tom Curry has sustained a hamstring tear that will keep him out of England's first two Six Nations matches, but he is set to be in contention for the clash with Wales at the end of February.

Curry, who captained England for the first time in last year's championship, injured his right leg in a tackle in the first half of Sale Sharks' win against Harlequins on Sunday.

With Steve Borthwick taking charge of England for the first time in their February 4 opener against Scotland, the injury left Curry little time to recover.

Sale director of rugby Alex Sanderson confirmed Curry would miss that match and the subsequent meeting with Italy, but the setback could have been worse.

"It's not as bad as we thought," Sanderson said. "A [grade] 3c [tear] would have been six to eight weeks, and he would have been looking to play at the back end of the Six Nations.

"With it being a 2c and Tom being very diligent on his rehab, it means he could be back for Wales."

England visit Wales for their first away match of the campaign on February 25.

Owen Farrell is set to play in England's Six Nations opener against Scotland despite a ban for dangerous tackling.

The England captain was cited after making contact with Jack Clement's head with his shoulder in Friday's Premiership match between Saracens and Gloucester.

Farrell believed the incident did not merit a red card, prompting a disciplinary hearing on Tuesday.

A four-match ban was upheld, however, potentially ruling Farrell out until after Sarries' clash with Leicester Tigers on February 19. England play both Scotland and Italy before that date.

But the final match of the suspension will be removed if Farrell completes the World Rugby Coaching Intervention Programme, which he has indicated he intends to.

An initial six-match ban was reduced after Farrell acknowledged the charge and showed "exemplary" behaviour during the hearing process.

It could not be reduced further at the outset due to a previous five-match suspension in 2020 for a high tackle on Wasps' Charlie Atkinson.

England hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie could miss the Six Nations after suffering an ankle injury.

The 29-year-old will definitely be sidelined when the Red Rose start the tournament against Scotland at Twickenham on February 4.

Cowan-Dickie sustained the injury during the second half of Exeter Chiefs' win against Northampton Saints on Saturday after scoring two tries.

Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter told BBC Radio Devon on Tuesday: "Luke's injury looks relatively serious.

"He's seeing a surgeon today; that will maybe give us a more definitive outcome and timing."

Baxter is optimistic British and Irish Lion Baxter can still play a big part for the Chiefs before joining Montpellier at the end of the season.

He added: "It does look like an operation is going to be required but that said, at this stage, it wouldn't be a season-ending situation.

"We could still see him back for a good chunk of the season if rehab and everything goes well."

 

Eddie Jones believes Steve Borthwick is well-equipped to succeed him as England coach.

A difficult 2022 bookended by Six Nations frustrations and a dismal November international period saw Jones let go less than a year before the World Cup.

Borthwick, who was an assistant to Jones with Japan and then England, has since taken the reins with his own number two Kevin Sinfield.

Reflecting on the appointment of his former colleague, the 62-year-old was effusive in his praise, adding that he takes pride in having helped to shape his path to the top job.

"Steve Borthwick was there [from 2016] until 2020," he told The Guardian. "He then wanted his own career.

"One of my jobs was to get England to win again, which I did, and also to produce the next head coach.

"So I look back with satisfaction because Steve will do a bloody good job. He's outstanding."

Jones, a famously outspoken figure within the game, departed last year after a tough period suggested his chances of repeating 2019's run to the World Cup final was a tall order.

The former Australia coach acknowledged he made errors, adding: "I don't have any regrets, but there were a couple of mistakes, a couple of decisions I probably rushed."

Asked whether his decision to criticise England's reliance on the public school system for players was such a call, Jones agreed in that assessment, though he defended his stance.

"That was one of my mistakes," he added. "Once you get that group offside you're in trouble. But diversity is so important and sport's not sheltered from that."

England head coach Steve Borthwick has made former All Black Nick Evans his new attack coach ahead of the Six Nations.

With Kevin Sinfield already installed as defence coach, Borthwick believes he has found another ideal candidate to galvanise the Red Rose at the start of a Rugby World Cup year.

Evans will take time out from his coaching duties at Harlequins to join the England set-up.

It is unclear for now what involvement Martin Gleeson will have, having been attack coach under Borthwick's predecessor, Eddie Jones.

Evans, who won 16 caps for New Zealand before signing for Harlequins in 2008, retired from playing in April 2017 but remains an influential figure at the Premiership club.

Borthwick said: "I am delighted that Nick is joining our team ahead of the Six Nations. Nick brings with him a wealth of different experiences as a player and coach, which will be incredibly valuable to the growth of our team. 

"I know that Nick understands the pride and responsibility that comes with representing your country. We aim to build an England team that our nation can be proud of, and I know that our supporters will be very excited by what Nick can bring to our side."

Former Leicester Tigers head coach Borthwick took over from Jones after the Australian was sacked in December, and it remains to be seen whether he may want Evans to stay involved leading up to the World Cup if the Six Nations brings positive results.

Harlequins, who were thanked by Borthwick on Friday, have said Evans will return to them on a full-time basis after the Six Nations.

The appointment of Evans comes during a week that saw Matt Proudfoot's tenure as England forwards coach come to an end.

England launch their Six Nations campaign against Scotland at Twickenham on February 4, having won just two of their five matches in each of the past two championships.

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