Another England back-rower ruled out of Ireland clash

England defence coach John Mitchell has revealed the side will be without the services of back-row forward Jack Clifford for the first game of the 2019 Guinness Six Nations against Ireland.

Clifford has returned home and will not be available for selection on Saturday in Dublin.

“Jack took a knock to the head so what we’ve decided to do is to manage him,” said Mitchell.

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“It’s not an HIA outcome but it’s more important to manage him, so he’s returned home early as he won’t be able to get through most of the work remaining.”

However, captain Owen Farrell is on course to return from a hand injury as the side continue their preparations in Portugal for the weekend opener.

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