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Anthony Watson and Jack Nowell expected to return for England

Anthony Watson and Jack Nowell are expected to be restored to England's starting XV after Eddie Jones outlined the blend he is seeking from his wings.

The four options in the position named in the champions' RBS 6 Nations squad on Friday morning will be whittled down to two who offer different strengths when France visit Twickenham on February 4.

Watson and Nowell, the first choices for much of Eddie Jones' reign, sat out the autumn internationals through injury but are in pole position to return if they perform during England's warm weather training camp in Portugal.

"We've got two really quick guys in Watson and (Jonny) May and two real work rate players in (Marland) Yarde and Nowell," Jones said.

"Essentially May and Watson are competing for one spot, Nowell and Yarde are competing for the other.

"But it will depend on how they come into camp, what their condition is like, how they adjust to playing differently for us. It's great competition.

"I had to again make the phone call to Semesa Rokoduguni to tell him he's not in the squad.

"He's been playing well for his club, so if those guys don't come up to measure he'll be back in the squad."

Ellis Genge has been named in the Red Rose 34-man squad for their Grand Slam defence just weeks after being dropped by Jones.

Genge broke into the national set-up last year, made his debut as a replacement against Wales in May and was an ever-present on the fringes of the team for the remainder 2016 only to be axed from Elite Player Squad on December 31.

Strong performances for Leicester against Munster, Saracens and Wasps have catapulted the combative front row back into contention, however.

"Bits and pieces of his game have improved, but he's definitely not the full package. He is a young guy, he's 21. He's got another seven years before he reaches his prime," Jones said.

"We have pulled him back, pushed him back in and that will happen to him again over the next five or six years. Or it should happen.

"Then by 27/28, he should be the fully matured package and he should be a very good player. It is whether he has got the patience to endure the process."


From Belfast Telegraph