Exeter Chiefs centre Henry Slade (hip) and London Irish back Henry Arundell (foot) return to England’s squad for the Six Nations after periods out with injury; Sale Sharks back-row Tom Curry (hamstring) remains out, while Courtney Lawes (calf) continues to rehab a calf injury
By Michael Cantillon
Last Updated: 06/02/23 7:26pm
Henry Slade and Henry Arundell have returned to England’s Six Nations squad following spells out injured, but Tom Curry remains out and Courtney Lawes continues to rehab.
The amendments to Steve Borthwick’s squad come following their disappointing opening-round defeat to Scotland at Twickenham on Saturday.
Exeter Chiefs centre Slade had been out with a hip injury, while London Irish back Arundell had been absent after undergoing surgery for a foot injury.
Sale Sharks back-row Curry remains out due to a hamstring injury, while experienced Northampton Saints forward Lawes is in camp, but not named in the squad as he continues to rehab a calf injury.
Wing Cadan Murley (Harlequins) and centre Guy Porter (Leicester Tigers) have been released from the squad.
England face Italy in the second round of the Six Nations on Sunday at Twickenham, after the Azzurri pushed defending champions France hard in the opening weekend in a 29-24 defeat.
England’s 36-man Six Nations squad
Forwards (20): Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers, 6 caps), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 96 caps), Ben Curry (Sale Sharks, 2 caps), Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins, 10 caps), Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby, 3 caps), Ben Earl (Saracens, 14 caps), Ellis Genge (Bristol Bears, 44 caps), Jamie George (Saracens, 73 caps), Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers, 7 caps), Jonny Hill (Sale Sharks, 19 caps), Nick Isiekwe (Saracens, 9 caps), Maro Itoje (Saracens, 63 caps), Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, 15 caps), David Ribbans (Northampton Saints, 3 caps), Bevan Rodd (Sale Sharks, 2 caps), Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs, 18 caps), Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 57 caps), Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 75 caps), Jack Walker (Harlequins, uncapped), Jack Willis (Toulouse, 6 caps).
Backs (16): Henry Arundell (London Irish, 3 caps), Owen Farrell (Saracens, 102 caps), Tommy Freeman (Northampton Saints, 3 caps), Ollie Hassell-Collins (London Irish, 1 cap), Ollie Lawrence (Bath Rugby, 8 caps), Max Malins (Saracens, 15 caps), Joe Marchant (Harlequins, 14 caps), Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints, 1 cap), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 52 caps), Fin Smith (Northampton Saints, uncapped), Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 18 caps), Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 18 caps), Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks, 50 caps), Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers, 8 caps), Anthony Watson (Leicester Tigers, 52 caps), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 122 caps).
Greenwood: Smith-Farrell combo not England’s biggest worry | ‘Tough times’
Will Greenwood believes England need to revert to picking specialists centres and a fly-half but says wider issues around the attacking game should be the focus.
The decision of new head coach Steve Borthwick to keep deploying captain Owen Farrell at inside centre with Marcus Smith at fly-half has come under scrutiny following the 29-23 defeat to Scotland in Saturday’s Six Nations opener at Twickenham.
The former England centre would prefer to see a specialist at No 12, although he acknowledges the options are limited following Borthwick’s decision to drop Manu Tuilagi, and with midfield duo Henry Slade and Elliot Daly both sidelined due to injury along with 21-year-old Leicester Tigers star Dan Kelly.
However, speaking to Sky Sports News, Greenwood added that he felt the bigger concern was around the work Borthwick and attack coach Nick Evans need to do in encouraging the players not to stand deep from the opponents’ defensive line when on the offensive.