England coach Eddie Jones has recalled George Ford and Elliot Daly to the Six Nations squad ahead of the tournament opener against Scotland on 5th February.
The decision follows after skipper Owen Farrell had sustained another ankle injury on his return to training for Saracens following a surgery.
Ford has been capped 77 times for the red rose team but was overlooked from the squad for the summer and autumn series last year with Jones preferring Harlequins star Marcus Smith. Nevertheless, he has been handed a lifeline now with Farrell, who is expected to consult a specialist this week is likely to miss the start of the Championship.
The absence of Farrell also means Jones will have to name a new captain for the Calcutta Cup fixture with Courtney Lawes among the contenders for the role though he is unavailable to train this week as he is undergoing head injury return to play protocols. Saracens forward Nick Isiekwe has been included in the squad as an injury cover to Lawes.
“Following Owen Farrell’s withdrawal from the squad, Eddie Jones will now name a new team captain ahead of the Calcutta Cup fixture,” a Rugby Football Union statement read.
Meanwhile, Jonny May is also sidelined with a knee injury and according to reports he is likely to miss the opening two games of the competition with Jones recalling Saracens' Daly as a replacement.
Daly was overlooked by Jones in the initial squad as he was given more time on his recovery from a stress fracture but now has been drafted into the squad that is training in Brighton for five days.