Six Nations

Jacob Umaga receives England call-up from Eddie Jones

Jones included 22 players involved in Japan, but many of the absentees are carrying injuries, including No.8 Billy Vunipola, who broke his arm for the fourth time on Sunday.

Prop Dan Cole, who had a torrid time in the final defeat by South Africa, was an expected omission, while versatile back Jack Nowell was also missing.

Of the uncapped group, Tom Dunn, Ben Earl and Ollie Thorley have been involved in previous squads, while Fraser Dingwall, George Furbank, Alex Moon, Will Stuart and Jacob Umaga are called up for the first time.

Pivac calls up uncapped quintet

Versatile Scarlets back McNicholl and Cardiff Blues centre Halaholo are among five uncapped players selected by new head coach Pivac for the clash at the Principality Stadium.

Taine Basham, Shane Lewis-Hughes and Ashton Hewitt will also be hoping to don the red shirt for the first time against a Baa-baas side coached by former Wales boss Warren Gatland.

Captain Alun-Wyn Jones is among the absentees due to injury, while England-based duo Dan Biggar and Rhys Carre are unavailable as the game falls outside the Test window.

Francis adds to Wales' injury list

Francis hurt his shoulder while playing in the Rugby World Cup semi-final defeat against eventual champions South Africa.

Exeter Chiefs confirmed on Monday the 27-year-old will miss up to four months of action due to a "serious" problem.

That provides an additional selection headache to new Wales head coach Wayne Pivac, with their Six Nations campaign to start on February 1 against Italy and their last match against Scotland taking place on March 14.

Brown desperate for England recall

The full-back was dropped during the Test series defeat to South Africa in June and was overlooked by Eddie Jones for the November internationals.

Harlequins stalwart Brown is determined to add to his 72 caps and will discover on Thursday whether he has been selected by Jones.

"Obviously I'm massively disappointed not to be involved, because I'm desperate to play for England." the 33-year-old, speaking on behalf of Land Rover at an off-road driving event, told Omnisport.

England's Underhill in doubt for Six Nations

Underhill injured his ankle playing for Bath in the English Premiership last weekend and is reportedly likely to be miss at least four weeks.

England plays Ireland in the Six nations opener on February 2 in Dublin, putting Underhill under a cloud for that match.

The 22-year-old was a breakout star for England in his debut Test year, playing nine Tests and becoming an important player for coach Eddie Jones.

Bath released an update on his fitness on Thursday morning (AEDT), saying Underhill would visit a specialist to confirm his prognosis later this week.

 

Jones fronts up after Scotland loss

Huw Jones scored two tries, with Sean Maitland touching down in between, while Finn Russell delivered a man-of-the-match display to quell doubters that had sprung up in the first two weeks of the championship.

England were well off the pace at a raucous Murrayfield, regularly losing the battle on the ground and suffering from ill-discipline - giving away 13 penalties, one of which saw Sam Underhill sin-binned for a no-arms tackle.

Defeat was just Jones' second as England coach and the Australian offered no excuses for their below-par outing.

Top three rankings tussle in Dublin

France will fall below Japan for the first time in rankings history if they lose to Italy in Marseilles on Friday.

Those are just two of the possible permutations in the World Rugby Rankings this weekend as the Six Nations and the Americas Rugby Championship continue.

Round three of the Six Nations kicks off on Friday with France’s encounter with Italy in Marseilles, followed by Saturday’s double bill featuring Ireland versus Wales and Scotland against England.

Henshaw ruled out of Six Nations

Henshaw appeared to dislocate his shoulder as he scored his second try of the comfortable win in Dublin, the Leinster back leaving the field with his injured right arm in a sling.

Coach Joe Schmidt had hoped there would be good news about the centre, but scans on Monday confirmed Henshaw would need an operation.

The 24-year-old has already had surgery to correct the problem but that means he will play no further part in the tournament.

Care to make England history

Youngs has been ruled out for the remainder of the championship after suffering a knee injury in the opening-weekend win in Rome.

The Leicester Tigers star was taken off early in Sunday's encounter, his evident pain souring what proved to be a commanding 46-15 win for England.

Richard Wigglesworth was subsequently added to the squad and is named among the replacements as Care prepares to overtake Matt Dawson with his 78th England appearance.

Te'o, meanwhile, drops to the bench, with Bath man Joseph preferred at outside centre.

Baldwin ruled out of Six Nations

The Ospreys hooker, who last year was bizarrely sidelined after being bitten on the hand by a lion, was hurt in training and requires surgery that will keep him out of action for five months.

A Wales Rugby Union statement confirmed that Scarlets' Ryan Elias, who has two international caps, has been called up in his place.

Wales are already shorn of several players, with the likes of Sam Warburton, Taulupe Faletau, Dan Lydiate, Rhys Webb, Jonathan Davies, Liam Williams, Dan Biggar and Rhys Priestland among their absentees.