Six Nations: Joe Marler withdraws from England squad due to Covid-19

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

England’s build-up to the Six Nations suffered a setback after experienced front-row Joe Marler tested positive for Covid-19 for the second time in three months.

Lateral flow and PCR tests taken on Tuesday morning confirmed Marler’s Covid status and the 31-year-old has withdrawn from England’s 36-man squad that is training in Brighton this week.

During the Autumn Nations Series, Marler missed England’s triumph against the Wallabies for the same reason, but he made his return as a replacement during his team’s victory over the Springboks the following week.

No replacement called up

England have opted against calling in a replacement but, with the 31-year-old’s period of self-isolation lasting into next week, his availability for the opener against Scotland at Murrayfield on February 5 is now in doubt.

It is the latest upheaval to a squad that has already lost Owen Farrell and Jonny May to respective ankle and knee injuries that could yet end their Six Nations, while Courtney Lawes cannot train this week because of concussion.

May’s participation hinges on a visit to a specialist this week, with the Gloucester wing set to miss at least the opening two rounds.

An ongoing knee problem has got progressively worse, resulting in his absence against Perpignan on Saturday and subsequent withdrawal from Eddie Jones’ squad on Monday.

May has been an ever-present under Jones since 2017 and is an influential member of the backline, creating a highlights reel of spectacular tries, but he now faces a race against time to get involved in England’s title quest.

Wales back-row Ross Moriarty returns to the Dragons

Meanwhile, experienced Wales back-row Ross Moriarty is set for a chance to prove his fitness ahead of the upcoming Six Nations Championship.

The 27-year-old has been released from Wales’ squad for regional duty with the Dragons.

He has been out of action with a shoulder injury sustained during Wales’ Autumn Nations Series loss to New Zealand on October 30.

Moriarty, who has won 49 caps, subsequently underwent surgery.

He is among six players who could feature in United Rugby Championship action before rejoining the Wales squad on Sunday ahead of next week’s Six Nations opener against Ireland in Dublin.

The article Six Nations: Joe Marler withdraws from England squad due to Covid-19 appeared first on Planetrugby.com.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting