England lock Courtney Lawes has been ruled out of Saturday’s Six Nations clash against Wales due to an ankle injury and replaced in the training squad by uncapped second row Ed Slater.
Lawes has played a part in all three of England’s victories in the competition so far, twice coming off the bench, but sustained the injury playing for Northampton against Saracens on Saturday.
Maro Itoje and George Kruis started at lock for England in their last outing, a 21-10 victory over Ireland, but Joe Launchbury should return against Wales if he has recovered from a hamstring injury.
Slater missed the first six weeks of this year with a knee injury and his return for Leicester was delayed when he required 14 stitches to his hand after trying to cut open a frozen bagel for his breakfast in February.
In another change to the squad forced by injury, winger Marland Yarde (shoulder) was replaced by centre Luther Burrell. Uncapped utility back Ollie Devoto returned after recovering from a concussion.
Wales have won two and drawn one of their matches so far in the Six Nations and the Twickenham clash could go a long way to deciding which country wins the competition.
Forwards – Kieran Brookes (Northampton Saints), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs), Jack Clifford (Harlequins), Dave Ewers (Exeter Chiefs), Jamie George (Saracens), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), James Haskell (Wasps), Paul Hill (Northampton Saints), Maro Itoje (Saracens)George Kruis (Saracens), Matt Kvesic (Gloucester Rugby), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Matt Mullan (Wasps)Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Ed Slater (Leicester Tigers), Billy Vunipola (Saracens), Mako Vunipola (Saracens)
Backs – Mike Brown (Harlequins), Luther Burrell (Northampton Saints), Danny Care (Harlequins), Elliot Daly (Wasps), Ollie Devoto (Bath Rugby), Owen Farrell (Saracens), George Ford (Bath Rugby), Alex Goode (Saracens), Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby)Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath Rugby), Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers).