Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 22 November 2014

Croft called up but Farrell to miss out

Tom Croft has made an impressive return from injury
Tom Croft has made an impressive return from injury

Tom Croft has been added to England's training squad for Sunday's RBS 6 Nations clash with Italy, but Owen Farrell is set to miss the penultimate match of the championship at Twickenham.

Leicester flanker Croft, who has recovered from a serious neck injury, played back-to-back matches for the first time this season when he led the Tigers to victory over Sale on Saturday.

Croft was expected to miss the entire Six Nations, but head coach Stuart Lancaster revealed the 27-year-old is available for selection against the Azzurri.

"Tom has been seen by a specialist, played back-to-back games and played 80 minutes at the weekend and did extremely well," Lancaster said.

"In consultation with the medical teams and (Leicester director of rugby) Richard Cockerill, we've brought him back into the camp. He's available for Italy and Wales."

Farrell has lost his battle with the thigh strain sustained against France, so Toby Flood will start against Italy.

"Owen's still got the quad injury which I want to make sure has settled down completely. It's fair to say that you can read into that that Toby Flood will be starting," Lancaster said.

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