Six Nations 2015: Henry Slade included in England training squad
Stuart Lancaster calls up Exeter Chiefs back as Saracens centre Brad Barritt and two other players are ruled out of the tournament
Henry Slade has been called up to the England squad preparing for the RBS 6 Nations clash with Scotland at Twickenham on Saturday.
The versatile Exeter Chiefs back, who started at outside-half for England Saxons against Ireland in January, has been drafted into the squad in place of Saracens centre Brad Barritt.
Barritt, who was tipped to start against the Dark Blues in the Calcutta Cup match, suffered a knee injury in Saracens’ win over Wasps at the weekend and has become the latest England player to bes ruled out of the rest of the tournament.
Plymouth-born Slade, 21, has been in sublime form for the Chiefs in the Aviva Premiership while operating mostly at 12 and 13, and has scored 78 of his 110 points in the competition during his last four outings, including three tries.
It’s unfortunate that Brad was injured, but Henry has been playing well for Exeter and it’s good to be able to call him in.
Stuart Lancaster on Henry Slade’s inclusion
Leicester Tigers flanker Tom Croft suffered a dislocated shoulder on Saturday, while Bath prop Henry Thomas picked up a shoulder strain in their win over Sale Sharks on Friday night, with both players also ruled out of England’s final two matches.
There was some positive news for the England coaching staff over the weekend with lock duo Courtney Lawes and Geoff Parling coming through 80-minute performances for Northampton Saints and Leicester Tigers, respectively, and both players make the training squad and are in contention to make the match-day team.
Lancaster admitted that the coaching team have some tough decisions to make before naming the squad to face winless Scotland.
“The weekend’s games gave us plenty to think about in terms of looking at guys who will have benefitted from the additional game time,” said Lancaster.
“It’s unfortunate that Brad was injured, but Henry has been playing well for Exeter and it’s good to be able to call him in. We also wish Tom and Henry all the best for their recovery.”
Harlequins full-back Mike Brown, who suffered concussion during the first half of England’s 47-17 victory over Italy, is back in full training and in contention to return after missing their 19-9 defeat to Ireland in Dublin eight days ago.
There are fitness concerns over Northampton Saints centre Luther Burrell and Newcastle Falcons prop Kieran Brookes, but both are expected to train on Tuesday at Pennyhill Park.
“Mike trained fully last Friday while Luther and Brookes should be fit to train tomorrow,” Lancaster added.
“We are looking forward to two full days of training before we announce the side on Wednesday.
“Sam Burgess will also come into camp to further his experience of this environment as Bath have no game at the weekend.”
England training squad for Calcutta Cup (35):
Forwards (18): Dave Attwood (Bath Rugby), Kieran Brookes (Newcastle Falcons), Calum Clark (Northampton Saints), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Alex Corbisiero (Northampton Saints), Nick Easter (Harlequins), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), James Haskell (Wasps), George Kruis (Saracens), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Joe Marler (Harlequins),
Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers), Chris Robshaw (captain, Harlequins), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Billy Vunipola (Saracens), Rob Webber (Bath Rugby), Tom Wood (Northampton Saints), Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers).
Backs (17): Mike Brown (Harlequins), Sam Burgess (Bath Rugby), Luther Burrell (Northampton Saints), Danny Care (Harlequins), Danny Cipriani (Sale Sharks), Kyle Eastmond (Bath Rugby), George Ford (Bath Rugby), Alex Goode (Saracens), Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby) . Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby), Stephen Myler (Northampton Saints), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby), Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby), Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers).