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England without trio for Ireland clash
Thursday, 31 January 2019 - 15:24 | Views - 48

England will be without wing Joe Cokanasiga, centre Ben Te’o and flanker Brad Shields for Saturday’s Six Nations opener against holders Ireland.

Cokanasiga (Bath) and Shields (Wasps) will remain with the squad to continue their reconditioning until Thursday when the team travel to Dublin. Te’o (Worcester Warriors), who has a side strain, will also stay in camp while the team is in Portugal.

Scrum-half Dan Robson is in line for his international debut having been retained in the 25.

Owen Farrell is also included having recovered from a hand injury, with Manu Tuilagi poised for a start at centre due to Te’o’s absence.

“We have Brad Shields, Joe Cokanasiga and Ben Te’o who are not far away from where we want them to be but in a game of this magnitude we need everyone to be 100% so they will stay with us and continue to rehab,” said scrum coach Neal Hatley. “The plan is to have them all fit for France.

“Ben suffered a small side strain in training, he is doing his rehab, is not far away, but as I say everyone needs to be fully fit.”


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