England head coach Eddie Jones has included Henry Arundell in his 36-man training squad ahead of July's Test series with Australia.

London Irish flier Arundell has caught the eye with a string of impressive performances since making his Premiership debut in February. 

The 19-year-old, who is also eligible to represent Scotland and Wales, may now be in line for a maiden senior England appearance against the Barbarians next month.

That match at Twickenham on June 19 will act as a warm-up ahead of July's three-match series in Australia, starting with a showdown at Optus Stadium in Perth.

Arundell is joined in England's latest training squad by fellow uncapped London Irish player Will Joseph, who is the younger brother of former England centre Jonathan.

Owen Farrell is also included after missing the Six Nations with an ankle injury, while Anthony Watson returns to the Red Rose fold following an injury lay-off of his own.

Ten uncapped players have been included in total and seven members of the squad have 50 caps or more, including the returning Mako Vunipola.

Ben Youngs, Joe Marler, Henry Slade and Jamie George are all rested for the three-day training camp, which runs from Sunday to Tuesday.

"We're going to use this camp as an opportunity to prepare a base game for the Barbarians fixture and for a really important Australia tour," Jones said. 

"We'll focus on how we want to play, how we want to be as a team off the field and continue to develop the squad cohesiveness and behaviours.

"It is also 16 months to the World Cup and every minute counts. We want a hard-working and enjoyable environment for the players and make sure we are all on the same page. 

"We want to take a look at some younger players and prepare a base camp for the Barbarians game, particularly as we will be without the Premiership finalists.

"We also want to give some senior players a rest as we get to a crucial part of the season. These players will still be in contention for the Australia tour."

England beat Australia at Twickenham in November, but that preceded a disappointing 2022 Six Nations campaign as they lost three of their five matches and finished third.

 

England training squad

Forwards

Alfie Barbeary (Wasps), Jamie Blamire (Newcastle Falcons), Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers), Tom Curry (Sale Sharks), Nic Dolly (Leicester Tigers), Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins), Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby), Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers), Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers), Maro Itoje (Saracens), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints), George McGuigan (Newcastle Falcons), Tom Pearson (London Irish), Bevan Rodd (Sale Sharks), Will Stuart (Bath Rugby), Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Jack Willis (Wasps).

Backs

Henry Arundell (London Irish), Orlando Bailey (Bath Rugby), Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby), Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints), Owen Farrell (Saracens), Tommy Freeman (Northampton Saints), George Furbank (Northampton Saints), Will Joseph (London Irish), Louis Lynagh (Harlequins), Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints), Harry Randall (Bristol Bears), Marcus Smith (Harlequins), Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers), Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks), Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers), Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby).

New Zealand centre Anton Lienert-Brown will be out for around six months after undergoing shoulder surgery.

The midfielder was injured during the Chiefs' 25-0 Super Rugby Pacific defeat to the Blues on Saturday.

Lienert-Brown will go under the knife this week and is facing a long spell on the sidelines.

The Chiefs said: "It has been confirmed that Anton will require surgery on his shoulder that was injured last Saturday. He is expected to return to rugby after approximately 6 months.

"The Chiefs Rugby Club wish Anton all the best for a speedy recovery."

Lienert-Brown posted on Instagram: "Shoulder is going to need a bit more work than I was hoping, going under the knife this week which will put me out for 6 months.

"A bump in the road, but the journey continues. I'll be back. Appreciate all the support."

Lienert-Brown damaged the same shoulder during New Zealand's defeat to Ireland in Dublin last November, ruling him out of a loss to France. 

Former Scotland captain and British and Irish Lion Tom Smith has died at the age of 50.

Smith was diagnosed with stage four colorectal cancer in 2019 and sadly passed away on Wednesday.

Capped 61 times by his country, the inspirational ex-prop was inducted into the Scottish Rugby Hall of Fame last year.

Smith played a big part in the 1997 Lions series win in South Africa and toured Australia four years later, becoming the only Scottish player to have played in six consecutive Lions Tests.

Ian McGeechan, who coached Smith along with Jim Telfer in the Lions win over the Springboks, described him as "the greatest Scotland player of the professional era."

Smith played his club rugby for Glasgow Caledonia – now Glasgow Warriors – and Brive before joining Northampton Saints in 2001.

Eddie Jones declared England's Test series against Australia a "vital" staging post on the road to the World Cup, as it was revealed the Sydney Cricket Ground will host the potential tour decider.

England trailed home a distant third in the recent Six Nations, winning just two of five matches for the second successive year, and the progress the Rugby Football Union (RFU) would have hoped to witness was difficult to detect.

With the 2023 Rugby World Cup now less than 18 months away, England will be hoping to show significant improvement when they tackle the Wallabies in three July Tests.

The dates and venues for those fixtures were confirmed on Tuesday, with Perth's Optus Stadium hosting the first game on July 2, before the teams battle at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium seven days later.

Sydney's SCG will then put on the third game on July 16, with international rugby returning to the famous cricket venue for the first time since 1986.

England last toured Australia in 2016, when Jones' then Six Nations grand slam winners got up and running with a 39-28 victory at Suncorp Stadium, on their way to a 3-0 series clean sweep.

Jones, England's Australian head coach, must know there will be pressure on his shoulders if his team fail to perform Down Under this time.

For now, the RFU has his back, with chief executive Bill Sweeney continuing to endorse the 62-year-old's leadership.

Jones said: "The Australia tour is a great opportunity for growth for this team and a good challenge at the end of the season.

"It will be the first time many of the younger players have toured abroad with England and it will be vital practice and experience ahead of the World Cup, along with the 2023 Six Nations. We last went there in 2016 and had a very successful tour.

"Australia will be a good challenge for this team. They have rebuilt strongly and they are well coached by Dave Rennie. We're looking forward to getting out there and continuing the development and journey of this England side."

Wallabies boss Rennie, whose side lost to Scotland, England and Wales on tour last November, is also looking to show that Australia can build momentum for the World Cup in France.

Rennie said: "We talk a lot about wanting to challenge ourselves against the best teams in the world and three Test matches in a row against England is the perfect opportunity to do that."

Eddie Jones' successor as England head coach will be appointed ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup, with the Rugby Football Union (RFU) targeting an Englishman for the job.

Australian boss Jones has spent six and a half years in charge of England and is under contract until after next year's showpiece event in France.

The 62-year-old had been under increasing pressure following another disappointing Six Nations showing for England, who finished with two wins from five matches.

However, the RFU this week assured Jones that his job is safe for now, though the former Japan coach was warned that nobody is "bulletproof".

Providing a further update on the position on Saturday, RFU performance director Conor O'Shea suggested a new coach could work alongside Jones at the World Cup before taking over.

"The plan for us will be to appoint that coach before summer 2023," O'Shea said. "Whether that's embedding them into the programme or taking a helicopter view, that's a discussion to be had. 

"We would like to think we will be appointing them in the lead up to 2023. We have so many top English coaches who are in a great position.
 
"Eddie has worked with Steve [Borthwick], Neal [Hatley], Gussy [Paul Gustard]. You look across the Premiership and then you see the quality of people overseas. I want them to be English and I believe [they] should be."

He added: "The rationale is we need to appoint so we have got time to embed the new coaching team and allow them to hit the ground running. Eddie is fully aware and knows what we want to do. 

"There will be some people who say that will disturb the World Cup prep because people will be looking over their shoulder.

"[Fabien] Galthie was appointed before the 2019 World Cup and it's the right thing to do because we need to get ready for the 2024 Six Nations."

The RFU's focus on a homegrown coach would rule the likes of Warren Gatland, Steve Hansen and Rassie Erasmus out of the running, but chief executive Bill Sweeney is confident the right approach is being taken.

"We believe we've got such a wealth of English coaches in the game," he said. "As a leading rugby nation we should be developing English coaches and an English style of play. 

"That should be long-term and therefore the preference would be to have an English setup as far as I'm concerned. 

"We've got a war room that's got every English coach you can imagine – based here and based internationally. We've got an advanced succession plan in place."

Eddie Jones has been assured his job as England head coach is safe for now.

A disappointing Six Nations performance does not appear to have substantially altered the Rugby Football Union's stance on the former Australia and Japan coach.

It means Jones is set to lead England on their tour when they face the Wallabies three times in July, and increases the likelihood he will remain in charge heading into a World Cup year. Jones has a contract that runs to the end of the 2023 World Cup in France, and the 62-year-old intends to step away from the job after that tournament.

England's fortunes have nosedived since winning the 2020 Six Nations, and the Triple Crown in that championship. They have finished with two wins from five Six Nations games in each of the last two campaigns, which in 2021 saw them finish fifth but this time around was good enough for third place.

That was a distant third to second-placed Ireland, however, and England could not prevent France clinching a Grand Slam when the teams met on Saturday evening in Paris.

An RFU spokesperson said: "Eddie Jones is building a new England team and against a clear strategy we are encouraged by the solid progress the team has made during this Six Nations campaign."

England were narrowly beaten by Scotland, before defeating Italy and Wales, raising hopes of a strong finish to the championship.

Yet a 32-15 Twickenham loss to lreland, after Charlie Ewels was sent off in the second minute, ended hopes of a championship challenge, and was followed by England going down 25-13 at the Stade de France.

The spokesperson added: "Eddie and his team of coaches and players will conduct a full review as is normal after each tournament.

"The RFU advisory panel which consists of board and executive members, former players and coaches along with Eddie will also undertake a de-brief to discuss the strong positive steps forward during this campaign and the areas we need to address.

"The advisory group has been in place since 2019, and it meets regularly both during and after each tournament to evaluate clear targets and progression.

"The RFU continues to fully support Eddie, the coaching team and players and we are excited about the summer tour and the progress to rebuild a winning England team."

England head coach Eddie Jones conceded he had not "done a good enough job" after his side suffered a 25-13 loss to France, who secured a long-awaited Six Nations title and Grand Slam on Saturday.

A second-half try from Freddie Steward gave England hope, but Antoine Dupont went over on the hour to secure victory for Les Bleus at the Parc des Princes.

It was England's third defeat of the tournament, and the third time they have lost as many under the Australian, having done so just twice in 16 editions before his appointment in 2015.

Questions have been asked about Jones' position, but following the defeat, the 62-year-old said they were "for other people".

"That is not a question I need to answer," he said. "I just do my job, it is a question for other people to answer. I am not even thinking about that."

"I'm disappointed, disappointed for the fans, for the players, I obviously haven't done a good enough job, I accept that, but we're moving in the right direction. The results aren't good enough. When you rebuild a team it takes time.

"France are deserved champions of the Six Nations, they are the best team, but we had enough chances to win that game, we just didn't put them away, we were not quite clinical enough in doing that.

"That has been a little bit of the story of us in the Six Nations, we have put ourselves in position to win the three games we have lost but not been clinical enough, not been good enough, particularly in some of our clean out work to win those games.

"So that is disappointing, but the spirit we showed is going to make sure this team keeps moving in the right direction."

England finished in third-place after Wales' shock loss to Italy and Ireland's win over Scotland in the final round of matches in the 2022 tournament.

England captain Courtney Lawes was left with contrasting emotions as his side succumbed to a 25-13 loss to France, who secured a long-awaited Six Nations title and Grand Slam on Saturday.

Marcus Smith's eight points from the boot and a second-half try from Freddie Steward kept England in contention, but Antoine Dupont slipped over on the hour to claim victory at the Parc des Princes.

That condemned Eddie Jones' side to three losses in the tournament for a third time under the Australian, having done so just twice in 16 editions before his appointment.

As France lifted their first Six Nations title since 2010 and sixth overall, Lawes could only hail the efforts of his team despite acknowledging the frustrations of losing out again.

"We're pretty disappointed to be honest," Lawes told ITV after the game. "We certainly had them in fitness – we felt like they were getting tired and we just failed to capitalise.

"It's on us and we've got a lot to learn from obviously. But I'm proud of the boys' effort still.

"It's hard to say straight after the game but we'll go back and iron out any kinks. It is what it is and we'd have obviously have loved to go out and get the win.

"I really thought we were going to do it at a few stages in the game but we didn't capitalise well enough.

"We really believed we could spoil the party – and I know we were capable of it because we've got the team for it. We just need to be more clinical, execute better and we can't let them off the hook that many times.

"They got so many turnovers at the breakdown and we didn't deliver there."

England ended up settling for third-place in the 2022 edition, having lost to Scotland, Ireland and France and defeating Italy and Wales.

Meanwhile, France will be eyeing World Cup glory on home turf next year after managing their fourth Grand Slam, with only Wales recording as many in the championship.

Antoine Dupont guided France to a long-awaited Six Nations title as they saw off England to clinch the Grand Slam with a 25-13 win at the Stade de France.

Les Bleus captain Dupont led the way in Saint-Denis with a superb second-half try to help Fabien Galthie's side end a 12-year wait for their 18th championship and sixth of the Six Nations era.

Victory over England put France ahead of Ireland in the final standings after consecutive runner-up finishes in 2020 and 2021 saw them miss out on the top prize.

A year out from a home Rugby World Cup, France look the team to beat in Europe, while questions will be asked of England ahead to those finals.

Edoardo Padovani scored a last-gasp try as Wales' Six Nations campaign ended with a shock 22-21 defeat against Italy at the Principality Stadium.

Josh Adams had appeared to spare the blushes of the lacklustre when he crossed 11 minutes from time to put Wales ahead.

Kieran Crowley's Italy looked set for a 37th successive defeat in the competition at that stage, but there was to be one final twist in Cardiff.

Ange Capuozzo burst away from the tiring Welsh defence and offloaded to Padovani, who went in under the posts before Paolo Garbisi converted to complete a remarkable victory.

All eyes will be on the Stade de France on Saturday as the 2022 Six Nations comes to a conclusion when leaders France take on England.

While the visitors can finish no higher than third place, Eddie Jones' men will revel in being the ultimate party poopers in Paris.

Victory for France in 'Le Crunch' will seal a first Grand Slam since 2010, though Les Blues could still finish top and land a first title since then should Ireland fail to beat Scotland.

Saturday's other fixture sees Wales take on pointless Italy in Cardiff and, while there may be little riding on that game, it will be a milestone occasion for a couple of players.

Ahead of the final round of fixtures, Stats Perform previews each match with help from Opta.


FRANCE V ENGLAND

FORM

The omens are good for France as two of their previous three Six Nations Grand Slams have been completed with victory over England in the final round, in 2004 and again six years later, while just one of the past nine games between these sides in the competition has been won by the visitors – England prevailing 31-21 in 2016.

Fabien Galthie's charges have lost just one of their past eight home games in the competition, with that solitary defeat coming at the hands of Scotland last year as they chased a big winning margin to pip Wales to the title.

England are aiming to avoid losing three matches in a single edition of the Six Nations for the third time in seven years playing under Eddie Jones, having also done so in 2018 and 2021, and for a fifth time overall. 


ONES TO WATCH

Damian Penaud, who has a joint-high three tries in this year's tournament, is back in France's starting XV after recovering from coronavirus, replacing the injured Yoram Moefana. France have scored seven tries from counter-attacks this year, which is at least three more than any other team, so pacey Penaud could cause some damage this weekend.

England will need to work incredibly hard if they are to stop arguably the world's top side right now and hope that their key players turn up. In Marcus Smith they boast a player who leads the way for points in 2022 with 63, 19 more than next-best Melvyn Jaminet.

 

IRELAND V SCOTLAND

FORM

Ireland must beat Scotland earlier on Saturday if they are to remain in title contention and they have a great recent record in this fixture, winning seven of their last eight Six Nations meetings.

That record is even better on home soil, meanwhile, having been victorious in 10 of the last 11 encounters in the competition, including each of the last five in a row. Scotland's only win in that run came at Croke Park in 2010.

Fourth-placed Scotland have won five of their last six away games in the tournament, however, which is as many as they had managed in their previous 43.


ONES TO WATCH

Ireland were made to work hard for their victory against an England side that played almost the entire 80 minutes with 14 men last week, but they did ultimately get the job done. Jamison Gibson-Park led the way for passes in that match with 59 – more than double any opposition player – and he has a joint-high three assists in this edition.

Finn Russell is level with Gibson-Park on three assists, but he has been surprisingly omitted from Scotland's squad for the match at the Aviva Stadium due to his growing indiscipline and poor form. Ali Price is next for Scotland on the assists list with two, and there will now be more focus on him on what is his 51st cap.



WALES V ITALY

FORM

Wales are aiming to climb two places and finish third and will be confident of fulfilling their half of the bargain by claiming a bonus-point win against bottom side Italy. The Dragons have won each of their last 14 in this fixture, last tasting defeat in 2007.

After losing at home to France in their most recent home match, Wales are aiming to avoid successive losses at the Principality Stadium in the competition for the first time in 15 years, when losing their final such game in 2006 and first in 2007.

Italy will claim the Wooden Spoon once again having lost all five games this year, stretching their record losing run in the tournament to 36 matches. The Azzurri's most recent win away from home came against Scotland in 2015.

ONES TO WATCH

This will be a special occasion for Dan Biggar, who is in line for his 100th cap, and Alun Wyn Jones, who returns for the first time since suffering a shoulder injury against New Zealand in October for his 150th appearance. That makes the Wales skipper the first player to win 150 or more caps for a single nation in history.

Ange Capuozzo has been handed a first Test start after making a big impression in an otherwise disappointing campaign for Italy. The Grenoble full-back has scored two tries in this year's Six Nations, accounting for half of Italy's total, with both of those coming in a 34-minute appearance against Scotland in round four.

France winger Damian Penaud has returned to Fabien Galthie's squad ahead of Saturday's Six Nations clash with England.

The Clermont star was ruled out of the week-four match with Wales after testing positive for COVID-19, but has now completed his isolation period and is back in the fold as France go in search of a Grand Slam.

Centre Yoram Moefana drops out of the 23-man selection as Les Bleus favour a six-two split between forwards and backs on the bench for the fixture at Stade de France.

Romain Taofifenua also returns among the replacements following his own positive coronavirus test earlier this month.

The hosts will complete a first Grand Slam since 2010 if they defeat Eddie Jones' visitors, and could still win the championship for the first time in a dozen years even in defeat.

Galthie will know what his side must do by the time they take to the field, with lone title rivals Ireland set to play before them against Scotland in Dublin.

France: Melvyn Jaminet, Damian Penaud, Gael Fickou, Jonathan Danty, Gabin Villiere, Romain Ntamack, Antoine Dupont, Gregory Alldritt, Anthony Jelonch, Francois Cros, Paul Willemse, Cameron Woki, Uini Atonio, Julien Marchand, Cyril Baille

Replacements: Peato Mauvaka, Jean-Baptiiste Gros, Mohamed Haouas, Romain Taofifenua, Thibaud Flament, Dylan Cretin, Maxime Lucu, Thomas Ramos

England lock Charlie Ewels has been given a three-match ban for the red card he received early on against Ireland last weekend.

The 26-year-old was dismissed just 82 seconds into Saturday's 32-15 defeat at Twickenham after clashing heads with opposite number James Ryan.

That red card was the earliest ever in the Six Nations, with each of the three quickest in the competition's history each coming in the last two editions.

Ewels will now miss England's final game of this year's tournament against France in Paris, as well as Bath's Premiership fixtures against Sale Sharks and Worcester Warriors.

However, he can undertake a Coaching Intervention Programme to have that suspension reduced to two matches, meaning he will be available to face Worcester on March 30.

Ewels was facing a possible ban of up to six weeks, but that was halved due to mitigating factors such as an early acceptance of the red and his remorse.

 

England's defeat to Ireland means they cannot finish any higher than third in this year's tournament.

Next opponents France are two points better off than Ireland, who host Scotland in the final round of fixtures, and are one win away from a first title and Grand Slam since 2010.

Two of France's three previous Grand Slams have been completed with a win over England in the final round, in 2004 and 2010.

England head to Paris aiming to avoid losing three games in a single edition of the competition for a third time under Eddie Jones, previously doing so in 2018 and 2021.

Dan Biggar and Alun Wyn Jones are in line to claim their 100th and 150th Wales caps when Wayne Pivac's side host Italy in the Six Nations on Saturday.

Wales sit fifth in the table after falling to a third defeat in four outings following a 13-9 loss to France last Friday, with their only win coming against Scotland on February 12.

However, Pivac's team will be boosted by the return of Jones, who comes back into the starting side for the first time since suffering a shoulder injury against New Zealand at the end of October.

Biggar retains the captaincy despite 36-year-old Jones returning, with the former set to become the seventh Welshman to win 100 caps for his country.

Coach Pivac, who has made seven changes to his team that lost against table-toppers France, believes the pair deserve to share their milestone appearances together.

"We've said with other players reaching 100 appearances what an achievement that is and for Dan I know he's been looking forward to this moment for a long time," Pivac told reporters on Tuesday.

"For him to achieve it with Al, who is also getting the milestone of 150 caps – which no other player has ever done – I think it's fitting for those two to share the day.

"They've played a lot of rugby together and have a healthy respect for each other. They've given so much for the game in Wales."

Gareth Davies is in line for his first start in this year's Six Nations, with Johnny McNicholl, Louis Rees-Zammit and Willis Halaholo all recalled in the backline as well.

Meanwhile, Dewi Lake, Dillon Lewis and last year's Lions captain Jones are the forwards who come in, with Ryan Elias, Alex Cuthbert, Jonathan Davies, Tomas Francis,  Liam Williams, Tomos Williams and Will Rowlands dropping out of the starting side.

On the changes, Pivac added: "We've made a few changes this week. With one game to go there are some players we need to see out there and put them in the matchday 23.

"We've certainly selected a side which we think can get the job done. Clearly that's what we're here for. There's an opportunity to move up that table, so we think this is an exciting team and one we're looking forward to seeing out there.

"Italy are a side that's improving, they've had some bad luck here and there and with a new coach transitioning we know it takes a bit of time.

"But we know they've got some very good rugby players and as you saw against Scotland they troubled them in that second half and for long periods of the first. So we're going to have to be on our game and we're very much looking forward to playing at home again this weekend.

"We had a good result against Scotland, gave the fans something to cheer about and came very close against an in-form France. Obviously disappointed we couldn't get across the line for our fans there and we hope we can do that this weekend and finish on a high."

Wales team: Johnny McNicholl, Louis Rees-Zammit, Owen Watkin, Uilisi Halaholo, Josh Adams, Dan Biggar, Gareth Davies; Gareth Thomas, Dewi Lake, Dillon Lewis, Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones, Seb Davies, Josh Navidi, Taulupe Faletau.

Replacements: Bradley Roberts, Wyn Jones, Leon Brown, Will Rowlands, Ross Moriarty, Kieran Hardy, Callum Sheedy, Nick Tompkins.

England head coach Eddie Jones insists questions surrounding his future are "part of the job" after defeat to Ireland at Twickenham in the Six Nations last Saturday.

The 32-15 loss means England can no longer win this year's tournament and could even finish in fifth place again if they are beaten by leaders France in Paris in their final match this weekend.

It was announced on Monday that Jack Willis has been included in the squad for the first time in over a year for Saturday's clash.

The flanker suffered a serious knee injury against Italy in February last year and only returned to action for Wasps last month.

Speaking to BBC Radio Five Live, Jones said his nationality may not help matters, but that questions of his suitability are part of the role.

"I took on the job of England and I knew this was going to be the case," he said. "I don't think it helps being an Australian but that's part of the deal. When I decided to do another [World Cup] cycle, I knew that would be more intense.

"The longer you're in the job, the more people probably don't want you to be in the job. It's all part of the job that we have."

Jones took the job in 2015 and has enjoyed success, winning three Six Nations titles and reaching the 2019 World Cup final, ultimately losing to South Africa in Japan.

The team's form has dipped since then, finishing fifth in last year's Six Nations and potentially doing the same this time.

However, Jones believes his side is developing, adding: "It's for other people to judge whether we're growing as a team.

"I've got my own internal assessment and I like what I see. I like to see the growing spirit of this team. We're moving in the right direction but I'm sure other people have their own judgement."

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