England Six Nations squad 2023: Full line-up of players as Henry Slade is ruled out
Henry Slade is the latest player to be ruled out of England’s Six Nations opener at Twickenham on Saturday
Slade has withdrawn from the 36-man squad, named by head coach Steve Borthwick, with a hip injury sustained in Exeter’s Champions Cup game against Castres.
Anthony Watson, who put in an impressive display for Leicester in the defeat by Northampton Saints on his return from injury on Saturday, takes Slade’s place. Watson’s last England cap came in the 2021 Six Nations, and he will provide cover across the back three.
Slade had sat out of backs training and leaves Manu Tuilagi, Ollie Lawrence and Joe Marchant vying for the outside centre jersey.
Saracens hooker Jamie George has been named in the squad, but is not yet certain to play as he must continue with his return-to-play protocols this week after sustaining a concussion in Saracens’s defeat by Edinburgh on January 22.
With Luke Cowan-Dickie already ruled out, Bath’s Tom Dunn or Harlequins’ Jack Walker would be in line to start if George does not recover in time.
Jamie Blamire drops out of the squad altogether to mitigate for George’s return.
Courtney Lawes, another certain starter to face the Scots, has also been left out of the squad after failing to recover in time from a calf injury sustained in Northampton’s defeat by La Rochelle two weeks ago – only his third start of the season. He will continue his rehabilitation alongside the squad with Slade.
The presence of Lawes, named as vice-captain along with Ellis Genge, would have been critical for Borthwick given that he is already without Tom Curry in the back row.
Outside of call-ups to George and Watson, Borthwick has selected the same group of players that trained at Pennyhill Park last week.
Who is in England’s Six Nations squad?
Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers, five caps)
Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 95 caps)
Ben Curry (Sale Sharks, one cap)
Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins, nine caps)
Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby, three caps)
Ben Earl (Saracens, 13 caps)
Ellis Genge (Bristol Bears, 43 caps)
Jamie George (Saracens, 72 caps)
Nick Isiekwe (Saracens, eight caps)
Maro Itoje (Saracens, 62 caps)
Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, 14 caps)
David Ribbans (Northampton Saints, three caps)
Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs, 18 caps)
Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 56 caps)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 74 caps)
Jack Walker (Harlequins, uncapped)
Owen Farrell (Saracens, 101 caps)
Tommy Freeman (Northampton Saints, three caps)
Ollie Hassell-Collins (London Irish, uncapped)
Ollie Lawrence (Bath Rugby, seven caps)
Max Malins (Saracens, 14 caps)
Joe Marchant (Harlequins, 13 caps)
Fin Smith (Northampton Saints, uncapped)
Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 17 caps)
Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 17 caps)
Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks, 50 caps)
Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers, seven caps)
Anthony Watson (Leicester Tigers, 51 caps)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 121 caps)
Who has missed out?
The headline omissions from Borthwick squad are Jack Nowell, Jonny May and Billy Vunipola – all of whom played a huge part of England sides during the tenure of Eddie Jones.
Their respective non-selection offers the clearest indication yet of the new regime’s departure from the old, as Borthwick looks to blood new talent who have shown top-level form for their clubs.
Other notable names to be left out include Alex Coles, Hugh Tizzard, Val Rapava Ruskin, Joe Cokanasiga and George Furbank.
Who is injured?
As ever, Borthwick has been forced to exclude certain names due to injuries.
Likely starters flanker Tom Curry and Luke Cowan-Dickie are both injured with the latter ruled out of the tournament.
Courtney Lawes continues to manage his rehabilitation alongside the squad with Henry Slade doing the same. Both will miss the opening round against Scotland.
Hooker is a problem position for Borthwick with George McGuigan and Jack Singleton joining Cowan-Dickie on the injury list. Jamie George is in contention to play in the Calcutta Cup but is still going through concussion protocols. Tighthead prop Will Stuart is also unavailable.
George Ford is yet to play for his new side Sale but is expected to return to action soon while, in more positive news, London Irish flyer Henry Arundell and Sale scrum-half Raffi Quirke have already done so.