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Suspended duo Haskell and Marler included in England squad to face Italy

The duo cannot feature at the Stadio Olimpico.

James Haskell and Joe Marler have been included in the England squad that will face Italy in Sunday’s NatWest 6 Nations clash despite the fact both players are suspended.

Wasps flanker Haskell and Harlequins prop Marler were handed bans this month – for a dangerous tackle and a dangerous clear-out of a ruck respectively – and they did not attend England’s 34-man training camp in Portugal.

The duo will miss England’s opening fixtures, in Rome and then against Wales at Twickenham on February 10, but head coach Eddie Jones has called up the experienced players nevertheless.

A statement published on englandrugby.com said Haskell and Marler would attend Pennyhill Park before England travel to Rome at the weekend.

Fly-half Marcus Smith of Harlequins is among the eight uncapped players in a squad who are aiming to defend the Six Nations title they retained last year.

Zach Mercer, Tom Dunn, Alec Hepburn, Nathan Earle, Harry Mallinder, Lewis Boyce and Gary Graham are the other new faces.

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