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England Six Nations squad: Captain Jimmy George, Billy Vunipola and Kyle Sinckler have been dropped

England Six Nations squad: Captain Jimmy George, Billy Vunipola and Kyle Sinckler have been dropped

Image source, Getty Images

Comment on the photo, Jimmy George has been capped 85 times for England

Dates: February 2 – March 16

coverage: Selected matches on BBC TV and BBC iPlayer with live text commentary and live BBC Radio 5 commentary for each match.

Hooker Jamie George will captain England into the 2024 Six Nations in Owen Farrell's absence.

Farrell, 32, has ruled himself out of this year's tournament to prioritize his mental well-being and that of his family.

Number eight Billy Vunipola and prop Kyle Sinckler are among the notable omissions.

Center Henry Slade and hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie, who missed the Rugby World Cup, have been recalled.

Exeter Chiefs winger Emmanuel Faye-Wabuso, who was born and raised in Cardiff, is among seven uncapped players in the squad.

Chandler Cunningham South, Ethan Roots, Oscar Bird, Fraser Dingwall, Tom Roebuck and Finn Smith are the others who are yet to play for England.

Northampton's Smith effectively fills in for Farrell after he was named alongside George Ford and Marcus Smith as fly-half options.

The 21-year-old, who helped Saints to the top of the Premier League, was in last season's Six Nations squad but failed to feature.

Slade was surprisingly left out of England's World Cup squad while Cowan Dickie missed the tournament through injury.

Both Vunipola and Sinclair were part of head coach Steve Borthwick's side as they finished third in France.

He added: “Based on the foundations achieved by the England national team at the World Cup, I have selected a squad that provides strong continuity and experience, while at the same time providing an opportunity to develop the talents of a number of new and less experienced players,” Borthwick said.

England Six Nations team

Attackers: Ollie Chisum, Dan Cole, Alex Coles, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Chandler Cunningham South, Ben Curry, Theo Dunne, Alex Dombrandt, Ben Earl, Ellis Genge, Jimmy George (captain), Joe Hayes, Nick Isiekwe, Maro Itoje, Joe Marler, Benno Obano, Tom Pearson, Ethan Roots, Will Stewart, Sam Underhill.

Their backs: Oscar Bird, Danny Kerr, Elliot Daly, Fraser Dingwall, Emmanuel Faye Wabuso, George Ford, Tommy Freeman, George Furbank, Ollie Lawrence, Alex Mitchell, Tom Roebuck, Henry Slade, Finn Smith, Marcus Smith, Ben Spencer, Freddie Steward.

George Captain, the beginning of a new era

Borthwick relied heavily on Muslim hooker George during England's third-place finish in the World Cup.

Coupled with Farrell's absence, the international retirements of 2019 World Cup finalists Courtney Laws, Ben Youngs, Jonny May and Mako Vunipola have left a significant gap in experienced campaigners.

Leicester trio George Martin, Anthony Watson and Jack van Poortvliet, as well as Manu Tuilagi and Ravi Quirk, were not included from Sale due to their injuries. Tom Curry was ruled out of the Six Nations and possibly the rest of the season last November.

“Jimmy has been a respected leader in this group for many years,” Borthwick said on appointing the hooker.

Farrell has captained England since 2019 and led his country in the last two World Cups.

George said: “I am not underestimating the challenge that lies ahead. Owen is a great motivator and tactician, and we will undoubtedly miss his leadership.”

“But I have great people around me, many of whom have won major tournaments. The team is in a great place to put in some really strong performances at the World Cup.”

On Sunday, Racing 92 coach Stuart Lancaster confirmed his interest in signing Saracens fly-half Farrell for next season, a move that would make the 32-year-old ineligible for England selection under the Rugby Football Union's rules on players based overseas. .

“What's important is that Owen makes the right decision for himself and his family,” Borthwick said.

“Will we miss a player of Owen's caliber if he chooses to play outside of England? Yes, of course. Do I want him to come back at some point in the future? Yes, of course. “In the end I want him to do what is needed.” The right is for him and his family. Make the memories he wants to make “

Last season's Six Nations Championship was Borthwick's first time in charge of England as he took over after the sacking of Eddie Jones. The 44-year-old's team won just two matches, against Italy and Wales, to finish fourth.

England begin their 2024 finals campaign away to Italy on February 3, before hosting Wales on February 10.