May 21, 2024

An injury blow for England with Alex Mitchell absent from the match against Scotland

EnglandScotland's prospects of reclaiming the Calcutta Cup have been dealt a blow after midfielder Alex Mitchell was ruled out of the match against Murrayfield with a knee problem.

The Rugby Football Union confirmed that Mitchell will miss the pivotal match in the third round of the Guinness Six Nations due to an injury that requires further investigation before setting a date for his return.

Harry Randall has been named as a substitute in Steve Borthwick's 36-man training squad with Danny Kerr and Ben Spencer vying to fill the void in the No.9 shirt at Edinburgh.

Mitchell has established himself as England's first choice since forcing his way into the World Cup squad last autumn despite being dropped early in the pre-season campaign.

The semi-final defeat began with South Africa He retained Borthwick's approval for the victories Italy And Wales Which opened the six countries.

In both games, he was given greater license to play a running game that saw him outpace Northampton's defenses and perhaps more than any other player benefited from England's greater attacking intent.

While Borthwick will have a contingency plan in place at full-back with Marcus Smith still sidelined with a calf injury, he has at least seen his midfield options increased.

Ollie Lawrence missed the first two rounds of the tournament with a thigh injury, but is ready to resume full training this week.

Ollie Lawrence is available against Scotland

Ollie Lawrence is available against Scotland (Adam Davey/PA)

It puts Fraser Dingwall's continued presence at central midfield into doubt, with Lawrence and Manu Tuilagi offering greater ball-carrying muscle, even if they don't have game time.

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Lawrence has been missing since late January due to an injury sustained in the shower while Tuilagi has been out since December due to a major problem.

Dingwall has made a solid if unspectacular start to his Test career and Borthwick must decide whether to risk his rivals' superior ability to break the game against Scotland as they continue their road back to fitness.

Borthwick will name his team on Thursday knowing that England have lost their last three matches to Scotland, who start as favourites.