George Ford has been ruled out of England’s Quilter Cup clash against the Barbarians this weekend, but Eddie Jones has bolstered his squad with a trio of Bristol players.
Fly-half Ford was named in the initial 32-man squad on Tuesday, but has withdrawn with what the Rugby Football Union called a “pre-existing Achilles issue”. No timescale has yet been put on his recovery.
Jones has been able to to add to his group, though, calling up Kyle Sinckler, Ben Earl and, for the first time, Max Malins.
Bears in camp 🐻@BristolBears trio @BenEarlba, @KyleSinckler and @max_malins7 have been called into the squad ahead of this weekend's #QuilterCup 🌹@George_Fordy has withdrawn with a pre-existing Achilles issue.
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— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) October 21, 2020
Malins offers cover and a new option at number 10, Earl brings further depth to the pool of flankers and World Cup finalist Sinckler adds plenty of experience to the front row department.
The trio had originally been left out due to uncertainty over Bristol’s potential role in the Gallagher Premiership final.
The Bears had been on standby to take the place of Wasps against Exeter in the showpiece following an outbreak of coronavirus in the Wasps camp, but they have now been cleared to take part.
Following their clash with the Baa Baas, England will move on to Rome for the delayed conclusion of their Guiness Six Nations campaign against Italy. They will then meet Georgia, Ireland and Wales in the Autumn Nations Cup.