Saturday 27 December 2014

England release 18 players back to club sides ahead of Ireland clash

Published 11/02/2014 | 18:44

England's Mako Vunipola is tackled by France's Dimitri Szarzewski during the RBS 6 Nations match at the Stade de France, Paris
England's Mako Vunipola is tackled by France's Dimitri Szarzewski during the RBS 6 Nations match at the Stade de France, Paris

England have released 18 players back to their clubs ahead of this weekend's Aviva Premiership action.

The starting line-up for last Saturday's RBS 6 Nations game against Scotland will remain at St George's Park for training on Wednesday and Thursday morning.

But the replacements' bench contingent at Murrayfield - Tom Youngs, Mako Vunipola, Henry Thomas, Dave Attwood, Ben Morgan, Lee Dickson, Brad Barritt and Alex Goode - are among those made available for Premiership duty.

Saracens launch the latest round of Premiership fixtures when they visit Sale on Friday night, while other highlights include Bath's trip to Exeter on Saturday and Leicester hosting Gloucester on Sunday.

The whole England squad will convene at Pennyhill Park in Surrey on Sunday, ahead of the following weekend's Twickenham appointment with unbeaten Six Nations leaders Ireland.

"We have reviewed the Scotland game with the whole squad and, while pleasing in many aspects, we have identified the areas we need to work on," England head coach Stuart Lancaster said.

"There are some inevitable knocks from the weekend, but nothing that we anticipate will keep players out of contention for the Ireland game.

"The replacements will return to their Premiership clubs and be available to play this weekend, which will give them valuable game time."

England, 20-0 conquerors of Scotland, lie third in the Six Nations table behind Ireland and France after two rounds.

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