Owen Farrell and Jonny May back with England in major boost before Argentina autumn opener

Owen Farrell and Jonny May back with England in major boost before Argentina autumn opener

Owen Farrell still has the chance to prove his fitness for England’s opening Autumn Nations Series clash with Argentina on Sunday.

The 31-year-old fly-half will continue his return-to-play protocols after sustaining a head injury in Saracens’ 22-20 Gallagher Premiership win at Exeter on October 22.

Farrell has returned to the squad in a clear boost to England and head coach Eddie Jones ahead of facing the Pumas in their opening November Test at Twickenham.

England would need a new captain should Farrell fail to recover in time from his head injury, with Courtney Lawes definitely unavailable through his own concussion troubles.

Northampton flanker Lawes has not played since September 24, and Saints bosses sent the experienced back-row forward for a specialist check-up last week.

Jonny May and Owen Farrell could both be available for England against Argentina on Sunday (Getty Images)
Jonny May and Owen Farrell could both be available for England against Argentina on Sunday (Getty Images)

Bristol prop Ellis Genge and Saracens star Maro Itoje would be popular options as captain, but Farrell will surely lead Jones’ side should he be ready to start at the weekend.

Gloucester wing Jonny May has returned to the England squad having only suffered a nasty-looking elbow dislocation as recently as the Cherry and Whites’ 22-21 Premiership win at London Irish on October 21.

“Owen Farrell has returned to the squad and will continue through the latter stages of his graduated return to play protocols in camp,” read a Rugby Football Union (RFU) statement on Monday. “There is also a return for Jonny May.

“Lewis Ludlam was unavailable for selection following an abdominal wall injury sustained before he joined with the squad in Jersey. Newcastle Falcons’ Sean Robinson has been called up to the squad.”

Saracens hooker Jamie George, Bath prop Will Stuart and London Irish flier Henry Arundell will all continue injury rehabilitation in the England camp.