Willis out but Ford returns as England name camp for Ireland clash


ack Willis, who scored a try on his Test debut on Saturday, is not among 25 England players retained by Eddie Jones for this weekend’s Autumn Nations Cup fixture against Ireland.  

England are still without Anthony Watson, who picked up an injury against Italy at the end of October, but George Ford (Achilles) and Jonathan Joseph – who went off with a back injury before half-time against Georgia – are both available.  

Attack coach Simon Amor said earlier in the day that he hoped Ford could play some part in the campaign and that he expected Joseph to be fit to play this weekend.  

“George is progressing nicely,” he said. “We’re hoping he’ll be in contention in some part of this tournament. It’s an achilles injury which can take some time, but he’s progressing nicely so that’s encouraging.”

Harlequins pair Joe Marler (reconditioning) and Joe Marchant (rehabilitation) are not among the 25, but will remain in camp. Mark Wilson has headed back to Newcastle Falcons to continue his rehabilitation.

With the new Premiership season beginning on Friday night, Jones has slimmed his squad, sending 10 players, including Willis, back to their clubs.  

Willis made an instant impact on his Test debut, scoring from close range after 15 minutes, and was replaced early in the second half. Amor was asked if England had any further injuries, and did not include his name. Lewis Ludlam appears to be the beneficiary of his absence.  

Also returning to their clubs are Bath trio, Joe Cokanasiga, Charlie Ewels and Beno Obano, Northampton’s David Ribbans, Alex Mitchell and George Furbank, Worcester’s Ted Hill, Exeter’s Harry Williams, and the Wasps’ Jacob Umaga.

Four players who have made their international debuts this autumn campaign are included in the group of 25. Jonny Hill is in line for a recall at lock, while backs Ollie Thorley, Ollie Lawrence and Max Malins are also included.  

Jones will name his 23 for the fixture on Thursday.

The Autumn Nations Cup will be available to stream on Amazon Prime Video from November 13. Get in on the action by subscribing to Amazon Prime. It costs £7.99 a month, £79 a year or try a 30-day free trial.

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