Genge, Launchbury return to England Six Nations squad

9:15 AM GMT

Leicester loose-head Ellis Genge has been thrown back into the England reckoning after being named in their Six Nations squad.

With Mako Vunipola ruled out of the start of the championship and Joe Marler likely to miss their opener against France, Eddie Jones has brought one-cap Genge back into the mix after being left out of January’s Elite Player Squad.

Genge comes into the 34-man squad alongside Jack Clifford, Henry Slade and Joe Launchbury. Three uncapped players are included: Mike Williams, Alez Lozowski and Nathan Catt.

Launchbury missed the Brighton training camp earlier in January due to injury while Slade comes in for the sidelined Manu Tuilagi. Jack Clifford, left out of the Brighton squad, replaces the injured Chris Robshaw.

“I’ve been impressed with the three uncapped players named in the squad,” Jones said. “They’re all guys who have great physical capabilities and they all have a desire to improve. With a number of injuries to some key players it’s a great opportunity for them.

“It’s good to welcome back a number of players who weren’t with us during the autumn. Maro Itoje has done well for his club as has Jack Nowell. James Haskell was magnificent for England last year and is a fierce player. Anthony Watson has been a fine player for England and is one the most prolific try scorers for the number of Tests he has played.

“We are looking forward to those guys coming in and challenging for a spot and adding strength.

“At the start of last year’s Six Nations I probably didn’t realise the enormity of the tournament and how intense the rivalry is between the countries, so this year we’ll be better prepared for it and we are looking forward to being daring in our game against France on Feb. 4.”

The England coach has also drafted in visual awareness specialist coach Dr. Sherylle Calder, who worked with Sir Clive Woodward’s 2003 World Cup-winning squad and then South Africa’s victorious team in 2007 which featured Jones among the coaching staff.

Jones also worked with her during his time at the Suntory Sungoliath and she also aided Team GB at the 2012 Olympics.

“2017 for us is about building really strong foundations for the team and making sure our fundamental skills are improving,” said Jones. “Part of that is hand-eye co-ordination and our ability to handle the ball adroitly — Dr Sherylle Calder is an expert in that field.

“She has won two gold medals, 2003 with England and 2007 with South Africa, I used her extensively when I coached in Japan and had success with her then. I think she is really going to add an edge to the players’ preparation.”

England’s 34-man squad for RBS 6 Nations:

Forwards: Nathan Catt (Bath Rugby), Jack Clifford (Harlequins), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby), Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers), Jamie George (Saracens), Teimana Harrison (Northampton Saints), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), James Haskell (Wasps), Nathan Hughes (Wasps), Maro Itoje (Saracens), George Kruis (Saracens), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Matt Mullan (Wasps), Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins), Tommy Taylor (Wasps), Mike Williams (Leicester Tigers), Tom Wood (Northampton Saints)

Backs: Mike Brown (Harlequins), Danny Care (Harlequins), Elliot Daly (Wasps), Owen Farrell (Saracens), George Ford (Bath Rugby), Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby), Alex Lozowski (Saracens), Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors), Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby), Marland Yarde (Harlequins), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

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