Rebels and Wallabies back Hodge to miss rest of Super Rugby AU season

By Sports Desk April 12, 2021

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  • Brighton fire and Marler positive test hit England preparations for Six Nations Brighton fire and Marler positive test hit England preparations for Six Nations

    England suffered a blow to preparations for their Six Nations opener against Scotland after Joe Marler tested positive for COVID-19, while a fire near the team hotel also caused disruption.

    Eddie Jones is readying his side for the Calcutta Cup tussle at Murrayfield on February 5, as England bid to improve on last season's disappointing Six Nations performance.

    The Red Rose finished fifth in the tournament after just two wins, and preparations for this year's edition have been hit by injury, with captain Owen Farrell set to miss the Scotland game.

    Courtney Lawes – initially one of the favourites to deputise as captain – is sitting out training this week because of head injury protocols. Nick Isiekwe has joined up with the squad as cover for Lawes, while George Ford has also been added, and it was revealed on Monday that Elliot Daly is in for Jonny May, who is out with a knee injury.

    England announced a fresh blow, with a team statement saying: "Joe Marler has tested positive for COVID and has withdrawn from the training camp in Brighton. All of the other England players and staff have undergone daily lateral flow testing – all of which returned negative results."

    England are training in Brighton this week; however, a suspected electrical fire close to their seafront hotel on Tuesday caused the team to seek alternative accommodation, with a 30-metre cordon enforced and nearby premises evacuated.

  • Warner and Marsh left out of Australia's T20 squad to face Sri Lanka Warner and Marsh left out of Australia's T20 squad to face Sri Lanka

    David Warner and Mitchell Marsh have been left out of Australia's new-look squad to take on Sri Lanka in next month's T20 series.

    Australia will also be without coach Justin Langer for the five-match series, with the 51-year-old being given a break after a busy period.

    Assistant Andrew McDonald will act as head coach for the series, which runs from February 11 to 20.

    While Australia will be without two of their T20 World Cup stars in Warner and Marsh, Josh Hazlewood is back involved after returning from injury.

    Ben McDermott, who impressed during the Big Bash League campaign, is also included in the 16-man squad that was named on Tuesday.

    "I don't think that I wasn't ready to play for Australia before, but I certainly feel ready now," said McDermott, who has already made 19 appearances for his country. 

    "I feel like I'm at the top of my game. I've developed a lot of learnings through some experiences. 

    "They haven't all been good ones, I won't shy away from that, but I've definitely learned from those experiences and hopefully I come back well."

    The other members of Australia's successful World Cup campaign to miss out on selection are Mitchell Swepson, Daniel Sams, Dan Christian and Nathan Ellis

    National selectors chair George Bailey said: "This squad will begin preparation for the ICC T20 World Cup defence at home later this year and includes several players who have an early chance to impress in these five matches against a quality opposition."

    Australia T20 squad: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Josh Inglis, Ben McDermott, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa

  • Ford recalled by England for Six Nations due to Farrell injury, May ruled out Ford recalled by England for Six Nations due to Farrell injury, May ruled out

    George Ford is back in the England squad ahead of the upcoming Six Nations as Eddie Jones awaits an update on captain Owen Farrell, but Jonny May is out.

    Farrell has endured an injury-hit season so far and suffered a setback in training last week, with his club Saracens revealing he was set to see a specialist about the unspecified issue.

    While he is all but ruled out of the Six Nations opener against Scotland on February 5, England are yet to confirm if Farrell can return after the Calcutta Cup clash.

    Nevertheless, Ford is back in the selection to make up for Farrell's absence against Scotland, with the Leicester Tigers fly-half seemingly set for his 78th cap.

    Ford has not played for England since the 32-18 Six Nations defeat to Ireland last March, with Marcus Smith's emergence nudging him down the pecking order, but he has the chance to stake his claim once again.

    Also in Monday's squad update, England confirmed May has withdrawn from the squad with a knee injury, while Courtney Lawes – initially one of the favourites to deputise as captain in Farrell's stead – must sit out training this week because of head injury protocols.

    Nick Isiekwe has joined up with the squad as cover for Lawes, while Elliot Daly is in for May.

     

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