LONDON : Sam Underhill has been named in the extended England squad for Saturday’s Six Nations game against Ireland at Twickenham, having last played a test in November, while Alex Dombrandt will miss several days’ training after testing positive for COVID-19.
Flanker Underhill has missed much of the last few months after suffering separate concussions and then a hip injury but has done enough in his limited outings for Bath to convince head coach Eddie Jones that he is worth a place in the 36-man squad named on Sunday.
With his former England back row partner Tom Curry working through the return to play protocols after he suffered a head injury in the win over Wales, Underhill could go straight into the starting team.
Dombrandt, who played well in the victory over Wales and looked to have made himself first-choice for the Number Eight position, is expected to return to training later this week and could still be in contention to play.
Nic Dolly and Alex Mitchell are also included, for the first time since the 2021 autumn series, as are uncapped backs Orlando Bailey, Ollie Hassell-Collins, Louis Lynagh and Luke Northmore.
Sale scrumhalf Raffi Quirke suffered concussion playing against Exeter in the Premiership on Sunday and is unavailable for selection. Lock Jonny Hill, who has been undertaking rehabilitation on a leg injury since he arrived into camp, has returned to his club Exeter for the remainder of the tournament.
Both teams go into the match with two wins and one defeat.
England squad ahead of Ireland game.
Alfie Barbeary (Wasps, uncapped)Jamie Blamire (Newcastle Falcons, 5 caps)Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers, 1 cap)Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 39 caps)Nic Dolly (Leicester Tigers, 1 cap)Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins, 7 caps)Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 29 caps)Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 34 caps)Jamie George (Saracens, 64 caps)Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers, 2 caps)Maro Itoje (Saracens, 54 caps)Nick Isiekwe (Saracens, 6 caps)Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 69 caps)Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 91 caps)Joe Marler (Harlequins, 77 caps)Bevan Rodd (Sale Sharks, 2 caps)Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs, 12 caps)Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 50 caps)Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 18 caps)Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 27 caps)
BacksOrlando Bailey (Bath Rugby, uncapped)Elliot Daly (Saracens, 55 caps)George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 79 caps)George Furbank (Northampton Saints, 5 caps)Ollie Hassell-Collins (London Irish, uncapped)Louis Lynagh (Harlequins, uncapped)Max Malins (Saracens, 13 caps)Joe Marchant (Harlequins, 10 caps)Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints, 1 cap)Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 37 caps)Luke Northmore (Harlequins, uncapped)Harry Randall (Bristol Bears, 4 caps)Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 46 caps)Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 8 caps)Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 8 caps)Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 115 caps)
(Reporting by Mitch Phillips, editing by Pritha Sarkar)