Jamie George has been handed an immediate opportunity to revive his England career after Luke Cowan-Dickie was ruled out of the entire Autumn Nations Series.
Cowan-Dickie suffered an ankle injury in Exeter’s Gallagher Premiership victory at Wasps on Saturday and a scan has confirmed that he will miss the Tests against Tonga, Australia and South Africa at Twickenham next month.
The 28-year-old established himself as England’s first-choice hooker during this year’s Six Nations and went on to make three appearances for the British and Irish Lions against South Africa, starting the first and second games.
Squad update | Luke Cowan-Dickie has withdrawn from the England squad for the @autumnnations series with an ankle injury.
Jamie George has been called up for next week's training camp in Jersey.
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) October 19, 2021
While losing him is a blow to the team’s prospects this autumn, head coach Eddie Jones has a ready-made replacement in George, the 59-cap Saracens veteran who was contentiously left out of the original squad announced on Monday.
Along with the Vunipola brothers and George Ford, George was omitted from the 34-man group and given orders by Jones to prove he has the hunger to appear at a third World Cup.
All four players have been in outstanding club form since being overlooked for a wider training squad named a month ago but Jones has pivoted towards youth with France 2023 in mind.
“Eddie Jones has called up Saracens hooker Jamie George to the squad, which will meet on Monday to travel to Jersey for a five-day training camp as they prepare for the fixtures,” a Rugby Football Union statement read.
Cowan-Dickie is one of three players to be injured over the weekend’s Premiership action with Anthony Watson suffering a knee issue and Maro Itoje a shoulder problem.
The PA news agency understands that the damage to Itoje’s shoulder is only minor and he should be cleared to take a full part in the internationals.
Tonga are the first opponents into Twickenham when they open the series on November 6 with rejuvenated Australia and world champions South Africa following on successive weekends.