Six Nations

Hartley passsed fit, named in England squad

2017-01-20 11:47
Dylan Hartley (Getty Images)

London - Dylan Hartley was passed fit to be in the England squad for the Six Nations announced by coach Eddie Jones on Friday.

The Northampton hooker, who last season captained England to a Six Nations Grand Slam, is currently serving a six-week ban for striking. 

But he came through a 'simulated match trial' fitness test on Wednesday and was included in a 34-man squad announced by Jones on Friday.

Hartley - who has missed more than a year of his career through suspension - is not expected to play, however, before England face France in their Six Nations opener at Twickenham on February 4.

England will be without former captain Chris Robshaw for the whole of the Six Nations after the Harlequins flanker had shoulder surgery while fellow back-row forward Billy Vunipola will miss at least the opening rounds because of a knee problem.

But lock George Kruis was included on Friday following a recent cheekbone injury while Saracens second row partner Maro Itoje returned Friday after missing England's end-of-year campaign in 2016 with a hand problem.

Back-row James Haskell, who suffered a toe injury late last year before being concussed this month was also passed fit.

Backs Anthony Watson and Jack Nowell, as well as Harlequins forward Jack Clifford, were recalled after missing the end-of-year series through injury.

Meanwhile Leicester loosehead prop Ellis Genge was recalled just weeks after being dropped from England's elite player squad, with Mako Vunipola out injured.

Clifford, a flank, centre Henry Slade and lock Joe Launchbury were included despite missing the two-day training camp in Brighton earlier this month.

The tournament squad will travel to Portugal for a training camp from January 22-27. 

England are currently on a 14-match winning streak, with 13 of those victories coming since Jones took charge following the 2015 World Cup. 

"This time last year I said that the long-term strategy for England is to develop a side who can be the most dominant team in world rugby," Jones said.

"Obviously I've been pleased with how the team's progressing, but there's still plenty to improve on. We always want to get better, every training session, every game."

England 34-man squad for the Six Nations Championship announced on Friday:

Backs (14)

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

Forwards (20)

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

Fixtures:

February 4: v France, Twickenham (18:50 SA time)

February 11: v Wales, Cardiff (18:50)

February 26: v Italy, Twickenham (17:00)

March 11: v Scotland, Twickenham (18:00)

March 18: v Ireland, Dublin (19:00)

Read more on:    england  |  six nations  |  dylan hartley  |  rugby
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