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England trio Anthony Watson, Luke Cowan-Dickie and Maro Itoje to have scans ahead of Autumn Nations Series

·2 min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

England trio Anthony Watson, Luke Cowan-Dickie and Maro Itoje will have scans this week to ensure they are fit to play in next month’s Autumn Nations Series.

The trio were all named in Eddie Jones’ 34-man squad for the Tests with Tonga, Australia and South Africa on Monday, but each picked up injury scares over the weekend when in action for their clubs.

England are due to fly to Jersey on Monday for a five-day training camp and Jones has confirmed Cowan-Dickie, Itoje and Watson will be assessed before that.

“They all have scans over the next week and we’ll find out in due course,” said Jones.

England will hope to have the trio available as they are likely to play key roles during the Autumn Nations Series.

Jones has made some bold selection calls with his squad for the three Tests, omitting Saracens trio Billy Vunipola, Jamie George and Mako Vunipola. Fellow senior figure, fly-half George Ford, has been left out too.

“As we said, we have drawn a line in the sand after the Lions series. We are looking to produce a younger squad to get ready for the World Cup [in 2023],” said Jones.

“It doesn’t mean those guys are out of the picture. I have been pleased with the way they have responded at club level and I’ve spoken to them this morning. They know where they stand.

“So, at the moment, we are running with this young but very good squad.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Now Jones has named his squad, there will be a lot of interest around his starting XV for the first Test with Tonga on November 6.

Harlequins’ Marcus Smith is, in particular, pushing to start at fly-half and Jones has outlined what he wants from his 10.

“I think the role of a 10 is to be the bus driver and the conductor,” he said. “So the fly-half has got to create a route for the team, he has got to create a place for the team to go and then be able to get the team to play to that beat.

“It’s a combination of being a team player and being an individual player. Every 10 I have coached is different. No 10 is the same.”

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