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One starter from Rome omitted as England cut squad from 35 to 25

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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England boss Eddie Jones has cut his Test week squad from 35 to 25 ahead of this Saturday’s Guinness Six Nations round three game versus Wales at Twickenham, omitting four forwards – Alfie Barbeary, Jamie Blamire, Joe Heyes and Joe Launchbury – and six backs – Orlando Bailey, George Furbank, Louis Lynagh, Joe Marchant, Raffi Quirke and Adam Radwan. 

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Having selected 25 players for last week’s training camp in London, Jones bumped that number up to 35 for two days’ training at Pennyhill – 19 forwards and 16 backs – to get the ball rolling on the countdown to the showdown with the Welsh.  

However, he has now reduced that number back down to 15 forwards and ten backs ahead of Thursday’s scheduled 11:30am team announcement of the matchday 23 to take on Wales, who come into the fixture having won and lost a match in this year’s championship just like England.   

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This latest update confirmed very good news about Courtney Lawes, who is now fit following his lengthy battle back from a concussion, but it was the reverse for Marchant, a starter at No13 last time out versus Italy who has now lost out with the fit-again Manu Tuilagi back in the mix.  Marchant is the only player from the matchday 23 in Rome to be excluded.      

Attack coach Martin Gleeson had reported on Tuesday afternoon that all 35 had trained in the first of two training sessions before the updated squad announcement was published. “We are all good,” he said. “Everyone has trained today. Big session today and everyone has pulled through fine. We are in a good spot.”

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A fortnight ago, in the midweek cut from 36 to 27 players ahead of the round two game away to Italy, Lawes, Wasps duo Barbeary and Launchbury and surprise uncapped back-row call-up Tom Pearson from London Irish were cut from the forwards with five backs also omitted. They were Gloucester midfielder Mark Atkinson, Northampton full-back Furbank, wingers Lynagh of Harlequins and Ollie Hassell-Collins of London Irish, and Sale scrum-half Quirke.

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ENGLAND SQUAD (vs Wales)
FORWARDS (15)
Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers, 1 cap)
Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 33 caps)
Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 38 caps)
Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins, 6 caps)
Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 28 caps)
Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 33 caps)
Jamie George (Saracens, 63 caps)
Maro Itoje (Saracens, 53 caps)
Nick Isiekwe (Saracens, 5 caps)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 90 caps)
Joe Marler (Harlequins, 76 caps)
Bevan Rodd (Sale Sharks, 2 caps)
Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs, 11 caps)
Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 49 caps)
Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 17 caps) 

BACKS (10)
Elliot Daly (Saracens, 54 caps)
George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 79 caps)
Max Malins (Saracens, 12 caps)
Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 36 caps)
Harry Randall (Bristol Bears, 3 caps)
Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 45 caps)
Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 7 caps)
Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 7 caps)
Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks, 46 caps)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 114 caps) 

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