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11 players that should be fit again for Six Nations Round 3

By Josh Raisey
Manu Tuilagi of England during the Summer International match between England and Fiji at Twickenham Stadium on August 26, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

After two rounds of Guinness Six Nations action, we enter the first fallow week of the tournament, offering players a much-needed chance to rest.

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The week off is especially important for injured players, as it provides that extra time to continue to rehab and avoid missing any more game-time.

Those that just missed out on round two, now have two weeks to impress their coaches and show they are ready to play. Here are some players that should be back in contention for round three:

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George Martin
The last time George Martin pulled on an England shirt, he was producing a monstrously physical display against South Africa in the World Cup semi-final. He injured his knee in that match though, which kept him out until December. A month later, his club Leicester Tigers confirmed he suffered another “minor knee injury,” which meant he was one of five players called into England’s Six Nations squad for rehabilitation.

After missing the opening two rounds of the Championship, Steve Borthwick said after the Wales match on Saturday: “Hopefully George Martin will be back in the squad and available for selection this week.”

Fixture
Six Nations
Ireland
31 - 7
Full-time
Wales
All Stats and Data

Manu Tuilagi
England’s midfield powerhouse Manu Tuilagi has been out of action since December with a groin injury, and was another member of the quintet of players in the England squad for rehabilitation. Like with Martin, Borthwick said at Twickenham that he hopes to have the Sale Sharks centre back for the Calcutta Cup in Edinburgh in round three. “Hopefully Manu Tuilagi isn’t too far away to be in contention for the next selection,” he said.

Luke Cowan-Dickie
Included in the Six Nations after missing the World Cup with a neck injury, Luke Cowan-Dickie was withdrawn from the squad a week before facing Italy alongside Ollie Lawrence and Oscar Beard. But Borthwick is anticipating the hooker will be in the mix for selection after the fallow week.

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He said: “I hope Luke Cowan-Dickie comes into that reckoning for selection as well for the next squad. That’s what I’m aiming towards right now.”

The England head coach did add that these injury updates could change with medical reports this week.

Peter O’Mahony
Ireland captain Peter O’Mahony missed the 36-0 win over Italy with a calf injury having not trained all week. His head coach Andy Farrell said that it “shouldn’t take too long” and expects the 34-year-old to be back in training in preparation for Wales’ visit to the Aviva Stadium in round three.

Tadhg Furlong
Like his captain, tighthead prop Tadhg Furlong also missed the week leading into the Italy match, but his coach also expects him to return to training this week.

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Blair Kinghorn
Scotland boss Gregor Townsend was dealt a huge blow just before the Championship started when Toulouse fullback Blair Kinghorn was ruled out of the opening two matches.

With an extra week’s rest now, the Scot is expected to return for the Calcutta Cup.

Darcy Graham
Initially named in Townsend’s Six Nations squad, winger Darcy Graham sustained a quad injury soon after. But Scotland confirmed in the build-up to the loss to France that the 26-year-old had returned to training with Edinburgh.

It has since been reported that Graham will be in contention to be selected for the clash with England.

Fixture
Six Nations
Scotland
30 - 21
Full-time
England
All Stats and Data

WP Nel
Scotland’s veteran tighthead WP Nel missed the opening two rounds with a neck strain, but returned to Edinburgh training last week alongside Graham, and is also poised to be available for round three.

Sebastian Negri
Italy flanker Sebastian Negri was ruled out of the loss to Ireland after suffering a rib contusion the week before against England in Rome. In an Instagram post after the injury was announced, the back row said he hoped to be “back soon,” and an extra week’s rest now may well be enough to see him fit for the trip to Lille to face France.

With fellow back row Lorenzo Cannone also ruled out against Ireland with a knee injury – with an unknown return date – Italy need Negri’s physicality.

 

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Romain Taofifenua
Lyon lock Romain Taofifenua was a late withdrawal from France’s squad to face Ireland in the opening match of this year’s Championship, paving the way for Posolo Tuilagi to make his debut. 

Fabien Galthie confirmed that he had a leg infection after the match, while also confirming he would miss the Scotland clash at Murrayfield. Though nothing has been confirmed yet, Glathie did not rule him out of the Italy match in round three.

The contest at the Decathlon Arena is likely to come too soon for fellow second-rows, Toulouse’s Emmanuel Meafou and Thibaud Flament, according to Midi Olympique

Fixture
Six Nations
France
13 - 13
Full-time
Italy
All Stats and Data

Sam Costelow
Wales fly-half Sam Costelow left the Principality Stadium pitch in the first half of the round one loss to Scotland, and missed the trip to Twickenham in round two.

Wales attack coach Alex King confirmed that the 23-year-old did not suffer a concussion, rather a “neural issue on his neck”.

An injury update is expected this week from Wales, so nothing is confirmed about Costelow’s availability, but the three-week gap between round one and round three may benefit him.

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3 Comments
f
finn 157 days ago

I’m obviously happy tuilagi, martin, and cowan-dickie are back fit, but i wouldn’t pick any of them to start

martin i would have on the bench; cowan-dickie i would have in the wider squad but not ahead of theo dan; and tuilagi i would leave out entirely

martin had one incredible game at the world cup, but i don’t know if he’s proven himself as a regular test starter. cowan-dickie i just think doesn’t offer quite as much as theo dan, and i do find it disheartening than borthwick still doesn’t trust dan to play more than token minutes. tuilagi is probably our best currently available option at 12, but he won’t be when lawrence is fit, and by the summer i expect him to also be behind seb atkinson, dan kelly, and fraser dingwall in the pecking order, so it makes more sense to stick with dingwall for the time being.

D
David 2 157 days ago

Hopefully Garry Ringrose will be back for Ireland. And Hugo Keenan won’t be out.

S
Sumkunn Tsadmiova 157 days ago

“Like with Martin, Borthwick said that…..”

Wow - I’m not English but even I know that’s dreadful grammar…..

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Jon 5 hours ago
British & Irish Lions free agent open to Super Rugby switch

There are a couple of teams who could use a stop gap experienced head. Blues - I’m not sure the Blues have signed a replacement for Caleb Tangitau (if he hasn’t been let go to make room for Barrett) yet, or whether Reiko is going on sabbatical and/or will remain in the squad. With exciting young French player Xavi Taele looking destined for higher honors in black, talented breakthrough rookie Cory Evan’s, and a couple of utilities, in AJ Lam and Bryce Heem(even Clarke?), all trying to learn the midfield trade, Williams could be a great aid. The Blues signed key English center Joe Marchant before he was raised to that level, and were possibly in the hunt to bring back the dependable Tele’a from the Highlanders. Possible the main squeeze which would put to bed any signing here would be the battle at 10 with Beauden’s return, and the forcing of Plummer back into the midfield. Hurricanes - Jordie Barrett is off to Leinster for a sabbatical next year but the more likely signing would be Billy’s brother back in the team. The Hurricanes are light on the outside with the loss of Salesi Rayasi to the Top 14 and if no quality is found to back up Kini Naholo, the midfield of Sullivan or Proctors could find themselves on the wing and space for a leader to show the Hurricanes three All Black midfield hopefuls (Higgins, Proctor, Umaga-Jensen) how its done. Highlanders - Rotation is high as usual at the Highlanders and versatility remains a strength with a lot of the squad. With compatriot Rhys Patchell signing a move to the JRLO, the passing of outside back Connor Garden-Bachop, and confirmed departure of Argentine wing Martin Bogado, the versatility of many of the young backups in the squad could see a veteran 12 like Williams being a strong partner for the robust Tele’a. With hope that the other Umaga-Jensen brother can force him out of the starting lineup, and shifting the sides general Sam Gilbert back into 10, the off-contract midfielder might seen as the perfect option for a squad still looking to fill one back spot.

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