There were always going to be casualties in a limited England Six Nations squad of 28-men and Eddie Jones has had to make hard decisions in trimming his squad from the standard 35 to 28 men.
The headline omission is of course Bristol tighthead Kyle Sinckler. Sinckler, who is suspended for the opener against Scotland on February 6 for swearing at a referee, fails to appear in either the senior squad or a shadow group of 12 players.
Sinckler’s ban meant that he would have to miss the first match of the tournament, and due to the isolation bubble surrounding the Six Nations squad, it has meant Jones’ had to make the hard decision to cut him from the team and the shadow team.
England have gone from 15 down to 12 backs, with Joe Cokanasiga, Joe Marchant [shadow squad], Alex Mitchell [shadow squad], Ollie Thorley and Jacob Umaga [shadow squad] all missing out having been involved in the wider Autumn Nations cup squad in November and December.
In the forwards the squad has gone from 18 to 16 forwards with Courtney Lawes, Beno Obano and Mark Wilson in for Alfie Barbeary, Charlie Ewels [shadow squad], the aforementioned Kyle Sinckler, Mako Vunipola and Jack Willis [shadow squad].
The major bolters are Wasps flyer Paolo Odogwu and Bristol scrum-half Harry Randall. It is the first time either player has been selected and their inclusion comes despite Eddie Jones being restricted to picking only 28 players as part of enhanced coronavirus safety measures.
Odogwu has been in rampaging form for Wasps, topping the stats charts for clean line breaks and most metres made, while Randall has been a dynamo for table-topping Bristol.
Jones has also named a 12-player shadow squad, who will be part of the same testing protocols as the tournament squad.
England’s full squad for the Six Nations:
Backs: E Daly (Saracens), O Farrell (Saracens), G Ford (Leicester Tigers), O Lawrence (Worcester Warriors), M Malins (Bristol Bears), J May (Gloucester Rugby), P Odogwu (Wasps), H Randall (Bristol Bears), D Robson (Wasps), H Slade (Exeter Chiefs), A Watson (Bath Rugby), B Youngs (Leicester Tigers).
Forwards: L Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs), T Curry (Sale Sharks), B Earl (Bristol Bears), E Genge (Leicester Tigers), J George (Saracens), J Hill (Exeter Chiefs), M Itoje (Saracens), J Launchbury (Wasps), C Lawes (Northampton Saints), J Marler (Harlequins), B Obano (Bath Rugby), W Stuart (Bath Rugby), S Underhill (Bath Rugby), B Vunipola (Saracens), H Williams (Exeter Chiefs), M Wilson (Newcastle Falcons).
C Atkinson (Wasps), A Crossdale (Saracens), T Dunn (Bath Rugby), C Ewels (Bath Rugby), G Furbank (Northampton Saints), J Heyes (Leicester Tigers), J Joseph (Bath Rugby), J Marchant (Harlequins), G Martin (Leicester Tigers), A Mitchell (Northampton Saints), J Umaga (Wasps), J Willis (Wasps).
– additional copy PA
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