England statement: Injured duo back in contention for Ireland Six Nations clash - Ruck

England statement: Injured duo back in contention for Ireland Six Nations clash

England’s aspirations for Six Nations glory have received a much-needed boost with the prospect of Marcus Smith and Alex Mitchell returning to the fold.

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The dynamic half-back duo, instrumental to England’s game plan, had been sidelined due to injuries, casting shadows of doubt over their participation in the crucial stages of the tournament.

However, amidst the uncertainty, Head Coach Steve Borthwick stepped forward with a glimmer of hope, providing a positive update as the team gears up for daunting encounters against Ireland and France. “I’m very hopeful that Marcus will be available for selection for this latter part of the tournament,” expressed Borthwick, injecting optimism into the camp.

The anticipation surrounding Smith’s potential return is palpable, with his creative flair and precise kicking game sorely missed in England’s recent outings. His ability to dictate play and unlock defences could prove pivotal in the team’s quest for victory.

Marcus Smith of Harlequins is tackled by Alex Mitchell of Northampton Saints during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Match between Harlequins and Northampton Saints on the third weekend of the Return to Rugby campaign as rugby continues after COVID 19 lockdown at Twickenham Stoop on 30 Aug. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK/Gallagher

But the good news doesn’t stop there. Borthwick revealed that there have been encouraging developments regarding Alex Mitchell’s injury, fueling hopes of his imminent comeback. “We have got positive news on Alex Mitchell’s injury,” Borthwick disclosed, “we are hopeful he will feature in the latter part of this tournament.”

Mitchell’s absence has left a void in the scrum-half position, with his sharp passing and astute game management sorely missed. His potential return would provide a significant boost to England’s tactical options and add depth to the squad as they navigate through the final stages of the competition.

While there remains a degree of uncertainty surrounding their availability for the upcoming fixtures, the renewed optimism within the England camp is undeniable. The prospect of Smith and Mitchell rejoining the squad injects renewed belief and serves as a timely reminder of their resilience and determination to succeed on the international stage.

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Five players Steve Borthwick should drop – and who should start against Ireland

#1. Ollie Lawrence

Telegraph 4/10: “Perhaps unsurprisingly was not on the same page as Ford and Slade in both attack and defence in their first game together. Badly fell off a tackle on Redpath that led to Scotland’s third try.”

Planet Rugby 4/10: “Barely saw him in an attacking sense. A few carries, one bad pass, one dropped ball – although that was George Ford’s fault – but not the form we’ve seen in the Premiership.”

RUCK 5/10: “Not what the Bath centre would have wanted upon his return from injury. The powerhouse came alive with some clattering hits, yet threw a wayward pass into touch at 76 minutes that summed up his afternoon. So much more was wanted from England fans, who were excited to see him comeback.”

Replacement: Manu Tuilagi