Ollie Lawrence ruled out of England’s clash with Ireland due to hamstring injury
Ollie Lawrence has been ruled out of England’s final Guinness Six Nations match against Ireland because of a damaged hamstring.
Lawrence sustained the injury during the final quarter of Saturday’s 53-10 mauling by France that registered the team’s heaviest ever defeat at Twickenham.
Guy Porter has been drafted into a 36-man training squad as centre cover but Manu Tuilagi is also available having completed his suspension for dangerous play.
Until the shattering collapse against France, Lawrence had been a success story of England’s Championship on account of blockbuster displays against Italy and Wales.
The 23-year-old was overlooked for Steve Borthwick’s Six Nations initial squad only to became a powerful presence at inside centre – at least until the current champions went on the rampage at Twickenham.
The remainder of the starting XV and bench in action against France have been retained, meaning Borthwick has so far opted against wielding the axe in response to England’s third heaviest defeat of all time.
The next indication of whether any players have paid the price for the seven-try rout will come when the squad is trimmed on Tuesday afternoon with Borthwick naming his team for the Dublin finale on Thursday.
Tuilagi has yet to play in this year’s Six Nations having been overlooked for the opener against Wales and Italy a week later, and he was then given a reduced three-match ban for striking with the forearm on club duty for Sale.
He would be a like-for-like replacement for Lawrence, bringing far greater experience than four-cap rookie Porter, who has yet to convince in an England jersey.
Second row Jonny Hill, prop Will Collier and wing Ollie Hassell-Collins return to the 36, but prop Joe Heyes and number Sam Simmonds have been left out. Courtney Lawes had already been ruled out by a shoulder problem.
England 36-man training squad –
Forwards: O Chessum (Leicester Tigers), D Cole (Leicester Tigers), W Collier (Harlequins), B Curry (Sale Sharks), A Dombrandt (Harlequins), T Dunn (Bath Rugby), B Earl (Saracens), E Genge (Bristol Bears), J George (Saracens), J Hill (Sale Sharks), N Isiekwe (Saracens), M Itoje (Saracens), L Ludlam (Northampton Saints), D Ribbans (Northampton Saints), B Rodd (Sale Sharks), K Sinckler (Bristol Bears), M Vunipola (Saracens), J Walker (Harlequins), J Willis (Toulouse).
Backs: H Arundell (London Irish), O Farrell (Saracens), T Freeman (Northampton Saints), G Ford (Sale Sharks), O Hassell-Collins (London Irish), M Malins (Saracens), J Marchant (Harlequins), A Mitchell (Northampton Saints), C Murley (Harlequins), G Porter (Leicester Tigers), H Slade (Exeter Chiefs), M Smith (Harlequins), F Steward (Leicester Tigers), M Tuilagi (Sale Sharks), J van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers), A Watson (Leicester Tigers), B Youngs (Leicester Tigers).
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