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Sam Underhill released from England squad by Eddie Jones ahead of Six Nations Test vs Ireland

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Bath’s Sam Underhill will not pick up first Test cap since the autumn, as he is one of eight players released from England’s Six Nations squad ahead of facing Ireland; Nic Dolly, Nick Isiekwe, Bevan Rodd, George Furbank, Ollie Hassell-Collins, Alex Mitchell, Luke Northmore all released

Last Updated: 08/03/22 8:50pm

Sam Underhill is one of eight players released from England’s Six Nations squad

England flanker Sam Underhill has been released from the squad preparing for the crucial Six Nations fixture with Ireland at Twickenham on Saturday, ending his hopes of a first cap since the autumn internationals following illness and a hip injury.

Underhill was named in a 36-man selection by coach Eddie Jones on Sunday, but was released along with eight others on Tuesday as England step up preparations for the must-win fixture.

In all, hooker Nic Dolly, second row Nick Isiekwe, loosehead prop Bevan Rodd, Underhill, full-back George Furbank, wing Ollie Hassell-Collins, scrum-half Alex Mitchell and centre Luke Northmore were all released on Tuesday.

Underhill has not been a part of England's Six Nations campaign this year up to now

Underhill has not been a part of England’s Six Nations campaign this year up to now

Underhill’s release may mean Jones is confident Tom Curry will successfully negotiate his return to play protocols after suffering a concussion in the 23-19 win over Wales on February 27.

No 8 Alex Dombrandt has been retained after he returned a positive Covid test last Friday, with Jones eager to give him every chance to be ready having been impressive in the championship so far.

Curry is still not fit to train after his concussion, while Dombrandt will not be able to join up with the squad until Thursday at the earliest.

“He [Dombrandt] has to do all the cardiac tests, and then we’ll see on Thursday whether he can train, and participate in the training at the necessary level,” Jones told the media this week.

“And if that’s the case then he has a chance to play against Ireland.”

England's Alex Dombrandt tested positive for Covid this week

England’s Alex Dombrandt tested positive for Covid this week

Wing Louis Lynagh withdrew from the squad earlier in the week after also testing positive for Covid, while Orlando Bailey has also dropped out, but will remain in camp to train with the squad.

England need a win on Saturday to set up a potential championship decider with France in their final match in Paris on March 19.

England’s updated 26-man squad

Forwards: Alfie Barbeary (Wasps, uncapped), Jamie Blamire (Newcastle Falcons, 5 caps), Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers, 1 cap), Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 39 caps), Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins, 7 caps), Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 29 caps), Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 34 caps), Jamie George (Saracens, 64 caps), Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers, 2 caps), Maro Itoje (Saracens, 54 caps), Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 69 caps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 91 caps), Joe Marler (Harlequins, 77 caps), Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs, 12 caps), Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 50 caps), Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 18 caps)

Backs: Elliot Daly (Saracens, 55 caps), George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 79 caps), Max Malins (Saracens, 13 caps), Joe Marchant (Harlequins, 10 caps), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 37 caps), Harry Randall (Bristol Bears, 4 caps), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 46 caps), Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 8 caps), Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 8 caps), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 115 caps).

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