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Lawes named in England squad to prepare for Ireland clash

Eddie Jones has named Northampton Saints’ Courtney Lawes in his 35-man squad to begin preparations to play Ireland in their opening Guinness Six Nations match.

The Red Rose take on the reigning champions in Dublin on Saturday 2 February (kick off 4.45pm, live on ITV), with Lawes set to win his 69th cap if selected.

Saints club co-captain Dylan Hartley is not included in the initial squad due to a knee injury, so Owen Farrell (Saracens) will captain the side in his absence.

Jones said: “We are very happy with the squad and have a number of players who have come back from long-term injury.

“We are looking forward to getting across to Portugal and having a good ten-day preparation for the Ireland game.

“Unfortunately, Dylan won’t be available for the Ireland game so we won’t take him to Portugal, but we are hopeful he will be back later in the Championship.”

England squad for Ireland Test

Forwards
Jack Clifford (Harlequins)
Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)
Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs)
Tom Curry (Sale Sharks)
Ben Earl (Saracens)
Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers)
Jamie George (Saracens)
Nathan Hughes (Wasps)
Maro Itoje (Saracens)
George Kruis (Saracens)
Joe Launchbury (Wasps)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
Ben Moon (Exeter Chiefs)
Brad Shields (Wasps)
Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins)
Jack Singleton (Worcester Warriors)
Billy Vunipola (Saracens)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens)
Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs)
Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons)

Backs
Chris Ashton (Sale Sharks)
Mike Brown (Harlequins)
Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby)
Elliot Daly (Wasps)
Ollie Devoto (Exeter Chiefs)
Owen Farrell (Saracens) captain
George Ford (Leicester Tigers)
Jonny May (Leicester Tigers)
Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs)
Dan Robson (Wasps)
Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)
Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors)
Ollie Thorley (Gloucester Rugby)
Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

Players unavailable due to injury
Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby)
Chris Robshaw (Harlequins)
Piers Francis (Northampton Saints)
Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints)

Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby)
Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby)