Jonathan Joseph has returned to the England fold ahead of a potentially tricky Calcutta Cup showdown against auld enemy Scotland at Twickenham on 11 March.

The fleet-footed centre was omitted from the squad that eventually got to grips with an unusual and controversial no-ruck tactic on Sunday (26 February) to beat plucky Italy 36-15 and keep their hopes of a second consecutive Six Nations Grand Slam alive. Instead, he turned out for Bath in their shock narrow Aviva Premiership defeat to West Country rivals Bristol at Ashton Gate.

Joseph's short exile is now over, however, with the 25-year-old named as part of a group that assembled at the MacDonald Randolph Hotel in Oxford yesterday for a training camp due to last until Friday. Exeter Chiefs playmaker Henry Slade, who replaced first-time starter Ben Te'o for the final four minutes of that eventful victory over the innovative Azzurri, drops out of contention altogether.

While Eddie Jones has named 27 players in his initial training squad to prepare for Scotland, prop quartet Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins), Ellis Genge (Leicester) and Paul Hill (Northampton) will all be released for club duty this weekend alongside Bath wing Anthony Watson and versatile Tigers lock Mike Williams. The rest of the party will be retained by England.


According to latest reports from the BBC, Wasps second-row Joe Launchbury did not train on Wednesday due to illness. Flanker James Haskell, subjected to ridicule after his innocent questions regarding Italy's divisive gameplan were met with a cutting response of "I'm the referee, I'm not a coach", from Roman Poite, is said to have completed a "modified" individual session.

After winning 17 straight matches, England's clash with Scotland is followed by an eagerly-anticipated trip to Dublin on the final weekend of 2017 Six Nations action.

England's 27-man squad for four-day Oxford training camp

Forwards: Jack Clifford, Dan Cole, Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Dylan Hartley, James Haskell, Paul Hill, Nathan Hughes, Maro Itoje, Joe Launchbury, Courtney Lawes, Joe Marler, Kyle Sinckler, Mako Vunipola, Mike Williams, Tom Wood.

Backs: Mike Brown, Danny Care, Elliot Daly, Owen Farrell, George Ford, Jonathan Joseph, Jonny May, Jack Nowell, Ben Te'o, Anthony Watson, Ben Youngs.