England centre Henry Slade gets Six Nations opener all-clear after Exeter red card rescinded


Henry Slade has handed new England boss Steve Borthwick a boost by being cleared to start the Six Nations.

The Exeter centre’s red card on Chiefs duty has been rescinded, freeing him up to face Scotland at Twickenham on Saturday, February 4.

Slade was sent off for a dangerous tackle on Bulls full-back Kurt-Lee Arendse in Exeter’s 39-28 Champions Cup defeat in South Africa on Saturday.

The 29-year-old was left visibly nonplussed on the field by his dismissal at the weekend, and an independent disciplinary panel has since wiped out the red card.

“The committee decided that while Slade had committed an act of foul play, it did not warrant a sending off,” read a Champions Cup organisers’ statement.

“The red card decision was therefore dismissed and he is free to play.”

New head coach Borthwick selected Slade in his first England squad on Monday, with the versatile playmaker competing with Dan Kelly, Manu Tuilagi, Elliot Daly and Joe Marchant for a spot in the centres.

Slade was employed mostly as a replacement across England’s miserable autumn Test series, that ended in head coach Eddie Jones’ sacking.

The Plymouth-born midfielder represented one of England’s rare attacking lights in November however, and will be pushing hard for inclusion under new boss Borthwick.