Six Nations - Key England trio to return from injury

Fri, 18 Feb 15:11:00 2011

England boss Martin Johnson has received a major boost ahead of the Six Nations showdown against France with three key forwards ready to return from injury on Saturday.

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Lewis Moody, England captain during this season's autumn Tests, is on the Bath bench for their Aviva Premiership clash against Northampton five weeks after suffering a strained knee ligament. Moody's fellow flanker Tom Croft, meanwhile, is among the Leicester replacements against visitors Wasps, having been sidelined since November due to a serious shoulder injury.

And Sale prop Andrew Sheridan, who missed the 59-13 victory over Italy last weekend because of back trouble, starts when Sharks tackle Harlequins at the Twickenham Stoop.

The influential trio, all British and Irish Lions, could thrust themselves into Johnson's selection mix for the France game at Twickenham next Saturday, when victory would leave the hosts just two wins away from clinching a first Six Nations Grand Slam in eight years.

And if he opts to recall Moody, Johnson must then decide on the captaincy after centre Mike Tindall skippered England in their wins against Wales and Italy.

PA Sport

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