Eddie Jones has named his England squad replacement for the injured Jack Willis, uncapped 19-year-old Leicester forward George Martin getting called into the 28-strong squad ahead of the February 27 round three Guinness Six Nations game away to Wales.
England flanker Willis suffered a devastating knee injury when appearing off the bench in last Saturday’s round two win over Italy, the forward getting hurt when crocodile rolled at a second-half breakdown.
That left Jones with a vacancy in his England squad that he has now filled with the unheralded Martin who has made four appearances for Leicester in this season’s Gallagher Premiership, two as a starter at blindside. It follows two other league appearances in the post-lockdown restart of the 2019/20 season.
Martin was originally named in the twelve-strong shadow squad that Jones announced on January 22 when he first picked his 28 for the Six Nations. Willis was included with Martin as one of those twelve back-ups and he got his call-up when a hip injury ruled out Sam Underhill.
Born in Nottingham and with a family home in Loughborough, Martin – who is listed as a second row by Leicester in his club website profile – came through the ranks at the Tigers academy, captaining their team in the 2018/19 season that was covered by the widely acclaimed six-part RugbyPass documentary series.
Squad update | @LeicesterTigers forward George Martin has been called up to the squad with Jack Willis ruled out of the tournament with a knee injury.
We wish @jackswillis7 all the best in his recovery ?
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) February 18, 2021
The RFU statement on Thursday afternoon on the England squad update read: “England have reconvened at their training base, The Lensbury, as they prepare for the next round of the Guinness Six Nations. George Martin has been called up to the 28-player squad, with Jack Willis ruled out of the tournament after suffering a knee injury in last weekend’s win over Italy.
“Eddie Jones’ side will travel to Cardiff next week where they will play Wales at the Principality Stadium on Saturday, February 27. They will then face France at Twickenham on March 13 before travelling to Dublin to play Ireland on March 20 in their final game.”
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) February 17, 2021
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