England captain Owen Farrell in isolation ahead of Tonga clash after positive Covid test

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 (Getty Images)
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England captain Owen Farrell this morning tested positive for Covid-19 and is a major doubt for tomorrow’s Autumn Nations Series opener against Tonga.

Farrell is now in isolation and he will miss today’s training session after receiving a positive PCR test result for coronavirus.

The fly-half will undergo a lateral flow and PCR test today and England will be nervously awaiting the results of those.

The rest of the squad and staff have all tested negative for Covid-19 and, as of this morning, were continuing to prepare for tomorrow’s match with Tonga at a packed-out Twickenham.

“He (Farrell) is in isolation. We are going through the normal protocols. He is fine. Obviously we are just waiting to see what happens next,” England forwards coach Richard Cockerill said this morning.

Watch: England captain Owen Farrell tests positive for Covid on eve of Tonga clash

“Hopefully he will be good to be playing for us, but at this point we will just have to wait and see. We’ve got great options in both the leadership and the 10 position. That’s a call we will make if we need to at the right time. Everybody has trained fully this morning and they’re all fit and well.”

England had already received a Covid-19 scare earlier this week when a member of their support staff had a positive lateral flow test for the virus.

The person in question is in isolation and it forced Eddie Jones’ side to delay the announcement of their team yesterday by 45 minutes.

Farrell was selected to start at fly-half and captain the side, but if he is ruled out of the match with Tonga then Jones will be forced into a rethink.

Harlequins fly-half Marcus Smith could be promoted from the bench to start, but he has struggled to train this week due to a knock. Northampton Saints full-back George Furbank, who is also on the bench, is another option as he is capable of playing at 10.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Jones will also have decide who should captain the side, with Courtney Lawes, Ellis Genge and Tom Curry the three standout options after they were originally named as vice-captains for tomorrow’s Test at Twickenham.

Lawes would appear to be the frontrunner for the role given his vast experience and the fact he has 87 caps to his name. Prop Genge, meanwhile, has 30 and Curry, who is starting at No8, has 33.

Jones spoke highly of the trio yesterday, who are part of a new leadership group in the England squad as they looked to build towards the World Cup in two years’ time.

“They all bring something a bit different to the party. Tom Curry is a very tough, aggressive player,” said Jones.

“Ellis Genge is the same but he’s also got a great set of human qualities. He had quite a tough up-bringing and he understands what young players go through.

“Courtney has had years of experience. He’s probably seen the best and the worst of English rugby and he can share those experiences with the players.”

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