England duo's injury setback potentially a major boost for Ireland 4 years ago

England duo's injury setback potentially a major boost for Ireland

Not great for England.

England's preparation for the visit of Ireland to Twickenham on St Patrick's Day suffered a setback after it emerged that key duo Dylan Hartley and Elliot Daly are still struggling with the injuries picked up in the defeat to France.

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Hartley and Daly sustained calf and foot injuries respectively and, although it was initially reported that they would be available for the Ireland game having come through Wednesday morning's training session unscathed, the BBC's Chris Jones said 'fresh doubts have emerged.'

As a result, England have now delayed their team announcement until 1pm on Thursday.

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While there is a strong possibility that both players will win the race to be fit for Saturday afternoon, it represents a possible selection headache for England coach Eddie Jones.

Hartley, the England captain, would most likely be replaced by either Jamie George and Luke Cowan-Dickie should he miss out. As for Daly, who has been wearing a protective boot since the France game, missing the Ireland game would be a major blow considering he had just returned from injury.

England are already without forwards Courtney Lawes and Nathan Hughes after the duo were ruled out for three months.

England squad:

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Backs

Mike Brown (Harlequins), Danny Care (Harlequins), Elliot Daly (Wasps), Nathan Earle (Saracens), Owen Farrell (Saracens), George Ford (Leicester Tigers), Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby), Alex Lozowski (Saracens), Jonny May (Leicester Tigers) Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), Marcus Smith (Harlequins)*, Denny Solomona (Sale Sharks), Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors), Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby), Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens).

Forwards

Don Armand (Exeter Chiefs), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs), Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby), Jamie George (Saracens), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), James Haskell (Wasps), Alec Hepburn (Exeter Chiefs), Nick Isiekwe (Saracens), Maro Itoje (Saracens), George Kruis (Saracens), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs), Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins), Mako Vunipola (Saracens).

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* Apprentice player