Sunday 17 December 2017

Eight new caps in English 22-man squad

ENGLAND interim head coach Stuart Lancaster will name at least eight uncapped players in his 22-man squad for Saturday's Calcutta Cup showdown with Scotland.

The uncapped Saracens pair of Owen Farrell and Brad Barritt are set to start in the centres, with Harlequins' Jordan Turner-Hall a substitute.

Lancaster will choose between Northampton's Phil Dowson and Scarlets rookie Ben Morgan for the starting number eight role.

Northampton scrum-half Lee Dickson has leapfrogged Joe Simpson to make the matchday squad and Wasps' Rob Webber could make his debut as a replacement after being confirmed ahead of Lee Mears as the second hooker.

Leicester's Geoff Parling is due to make his first England Test squad after being retained as a lock, alongside Tom Palmer and Mouritz Botha.

Fitzgerald plans Italy date return

Leinster's Luke Fitzgerald could come into contention for Ireland for the Six Nations visit of Italy to Dublin in round three of the Six Nations on Saturday, February 25.

"The position with Luke is that he has a neck injury," said Ireland team manager Mick Kearney.

"He is improving. We would be hopeful that he will be available for selection within the next week or two."

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