George Ford and Elliot Daly have been called up to the England squad as a replacement for the injured pair of Owen Farrell and Jonny May, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) confirmed on Monday.
In-form Leicester Tigers flyhalf Ford, 28, has started all 12 of Tigers’ Premiership games and is the league’s top points scorer so far, but was omitted from Eddie Jones’ 36-man squad after falling behind Marcus Smith and Farrell in the pecking order.
Ford, who has been capped 77 times, was left out of the autumn internationals and last played for England in the 32-18 defeat by Ireland in the final round of last year’s Six Nations championship in March.
Farrell has not played since injuring an ankle on England duty in November and was expected to return to club action for Saracens at the weekend but missed their 45-24 victory over London Irish after sustaining an injury in training on Friday.
May withdrew from the England squad ahead of their five-day training camp in Brighton due to a knee injury, and has been replaced by Saracens’ Daly, who has played 52 times for England.
RFU added that Courtney Lawes, who is undergoing protocol for return to play following a head injury, will be unavailable to train this week, and that Nick Isiekwe has joined the squad as injury cover for the 32-year-old.
England, who finished fifth in last year’s Six Nations, kick off away to Scotland on Feb. 5 before facing Italy in Rome and hosting Wales and Ireland, and complete their campaign away to France on March 19.