England call up Nick Isiekwe for New Zealand tour with Charlie Ewels banned

<span>Saracens lock Nick Isiekwe has earned 11 caps for England.</span><span>Photograph: Peter Cziborra/Action Images/Reuters</span>
Saracens lock Nick Isiekwe has earned 11 caps for England.Photograph: Peter Cziborra/Action Images/Reuters

The Saracens lock Nick Isiekwe is heading out to join England’s tour squad in New Zealand as a replacement for Bath’s Charlie Ewels, who has been suspended for two weeks after being sent off against Japan on Saturday.

Ewels, the first English Test player to receive two red cards, was found guilty of a reckless clear-out on Japan’s captain Michael Leitch in the 73rd minute of England’s 52-17 victory in Tokyo. It was the second-row forward’s first game for his country since he was dismissed for a high tackle in the early stages of England’s Six Nations game against Ireland at Twickenham in 2022.

The 26-year-old Isiekwe has 11 Test caps and is a club colleague of the England forwards Jamie George, Maro Itoje, Ben Earl and Theo Dan. “He is fully fit and ready to go,” said the England head coach, Steve Borthwick.

“He’s a guy who’s been around the England squad for a time and he obviously knows many of the players,” Borthwick added. “He’s desperate for an opportunity and was gutted not to be in the original squad.”

England fly to New Zealand on Monday before a two-Test series against the All Blacks, starting in Dunedin on 6 July.