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Jonathan Joseph added to England squad for Six Nations opener in Dublin

Joseph has not played for England since last season’s Six Nations.

Jonathan Joseph is back in the England squad (Andrew Matthews/PA)
Jonathan Joseph is back in the England squad (Andrew Matthews/PA)

England boss Eddie Jones has added Bath centre Jonathan Joseph to his squad ahead of next week’s Guinness Six Nations opener against Ireland.

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Joseph will be part of a 36-player group that departs for a training camp in Portugal on Wednesday, the Rugby Football Union said.

The 27-year-old returned to action for his club in Sunday’s Heineken Champions Cup game against Toulouse after nine months out because of a foot injury.

Joseph’s lay-off meant he missed England’s tour to South Africa last summer and the autumn Tests in November.

Joseph, who has won 40 caps and scored 17 Test tries, last featured for England against Ireland in the Six Nations 10 months ago.

He played 50 minutes of the Toulouse match as Bath completed their Champions Cup campaign.

The RFU said: “Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby) has been added to the squad, having proved his fitness at the weekend playing for his club.”

Head coach Jones’ Portugal-bound group also includes captain Owen Farrell, who underwent thumb surgery on Saturday, with his club Saracens anticipating that he will be sidelined for seven-10 days.

Owen Farrell will also travel with the squad to Portugal (Paul Harding/PA)

Wasps forwards Joe Launchbury (neck) and Brad Shields (side strain) will also travel.

Lock Launchbury went off after just nine minutes of Wasps’ Champions Cup game against Leinster two days ago, while flanker Shields did not start that match.

The training group includes four uncapped players in Gloucester wing Ollie Thorley, Wasps scrum-half Dan Robson, Worcester hooker Jack Singleton and Saracens back-row forward Ben Earl.

Jones will take a squad of 25 players to Dublin on Thursday week for the February 2 clash at the Aviva Stadium.



From Belfast Telegraph