Double Injury Blow For England Ahead Of Six Nations Opener With Ireland

Double whammy.

England will be without the services of centre Ben Te’o and flanker Brad Shields for this weekend’s crucial Guinness Six Nations opener with Ireland at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

The Worcester Warriors star picked up the injury in training in Portugal this week and will not travel to Dublin. His absence paves the way for Manu Tuilagi to potentially make his first start for England since 2014.

Newcastle’s Mark Wilson looks set to start at blindside flanker in Shields’ absence. Jones is already without the likes of co-captain Dylan Hartley, Chris Robshaw, Sam Underhill and Joe Cokanasiga.

England squad

Forwards: Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs), Tom Curry (Sale Sharks), Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers), Jamie George (Saracens), Nathan Hughes (Wasps), Maro Itoje (Saracens), George Kruis (Saracens), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins), Billy Vunipola (Saracens), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs), Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons)

Backs: Chris Ashton (Sale Sharks), Mike Brown (Harlequins), Elliot Daly (Wasps), Owen Farrell (Saracens) captain, George Ford (Leicester Tigers), Jonny May (Leicester Tigers), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), Dan Robson (Wasps), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

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