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Englands Underhill withdraws from squad

Sam Underhill
Sam Underhill made his England senior debut in 2017
Venue: Twickenham Stadium Date: Saturday, 6 February Kick-off: 16:45 GMT
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Radio Scotland; live text on the BBC Sport website and app; watch highlights online after the game.

Bath flanker Sam Underhill has withdrawn from England’s Six Nations squad because of a hip injury.

Wasps flanker Jack Willis, who made his England debut last autumn, has replaced Underhill in the 2020 champions’ squad.

England are already without Mako Vunipola and Joe Launchbury, while prop Joe Marler is unavailable for personal reasons and Kyle Sinckler is suspended for the opener against Scotland.

Underhill, 24, hopes to be back playing before the end of the Six Nations.

“It’s disappointing for him but the outlook is pretty positive. We’re talking weeks more than anything else,” said Bath director of rugby Stuart Hooper.

“He picked it up against Wasps earlier this month and it probably has been bit of a niggle for him. He was assessed this morning by the England medics and the decision was made.”

Willis has been promoted from England’s shadow squad and will compete with Ben Earl and Mark Wilson for the back-row spot created by Underhill’s absence.

Exeter loose-head prop Alec Hepburn, Northampton flanker Lewis Ludlam and their lock David Ribbans have all been added to the shadow squad.

England’s opening match is the Calcutta Cup clash against Scotland at Twickenham on Saturday, 6 February (16:45 GMT).

England’s Six Nations squad

Backs: Elliot Daly, Owen Farrell, George Ford, Ollie Lawrence, Max Malins, Jonny May, Paolo Odogwu, Harry Randall, Dan Robson, Henry Slade, Anthony Watson, Ben Youngs.

Forwards: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Tom Curry, Ben Earl, Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Jonny Hill, Maro Itoje, Charlie Ewels, Courtney Lawes, Tom West, Beno Obano, Will Stuart, Billy Vunipola, Harry Williams, Jack Willis, Mark Wilson.

Shadow squad

Charlie Atkinson, Ali Crossdale, Tom Dunn, George Furbank, Alex Hepburn, Joe Heyes, Jonathan Joseph, Lewis Ludlam, Joe Marchant, George Martin, Alex Mitchell, David Ribbans, Jacob Umaga

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