A selection call will apparently see veteran England centre Many Tuilagi miss out on their Guinness Six Nations opener against Scotland.
Tuilagi – nearly always a first choice in England’s midfield when fit – will make way for Harlequins centre Joe Marchant according to the BBC’s Chris Jones. England head coach Steve Borthwick is set names his team at 2.45pm today.
Tuilagi left Leicester Tigers for Sale Sharks in 2020 before Borthwick took over the reins at the club.
Despite being in excellent form for Sale Sharks and having managed to avoid injury for several months, the wrecking ball centre has ceded the jersey for Marchant, who is leaving for Stade Francais after the Rugby World Cup.
Marchant had an on-again-off-again relationship with England squads in recent years, the 26-year-old unable to fully convince former England head coach Eddie Jones that he had what it took at the international level.
The decision comes despite an injury crisis in England’s midfield, with Elliot Daly, Dan Kelly and Henry Slade all now injured. Kelly’s and Slade’s injuries are not long-term, although Daly will miss the entire Six Nations championship because of a hamstring injury.
Prone to injury, England have been “managing” Tuilagi over the last number of seasons. The 17-stone Samoan born powerhouse has 46 England to date, but would have many more if it were not for repeat injuries.
UPDATE ENGLAND SQUAD:
Forwards: Ollie Chessum, Dan Cole, Ben Curry, Alex Dombrandt, Tom Dunn, Ben Earl, Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Joe Heyes, Jonny Hill, Nick Isiekwe, Maro Itoje, Lewis Ludlam, David Ribbans, Bevan Rodd, Sam Simmonds, Kyle Sinckler, Mako Vunipola, Jack Walker, Jack Willis
Backs: Owen Farrell, Tommy Freeman, Ollie Hassell-Collins, Guy Porter, Ollie Lawrence, Max Malins, Joe Marchant, Alex Mitchell, Cadan Murley, Fin Smith, Marcus Smith, Freddie Steward, Manu Tuilagi, Jack van Poortvliet, Anthony Watson, Ben Youngs.