England captain Farrell a major doubt for Tonga clash after testing positive for COVID-19

By Sports Desk November 05, 2021

England captain Owen Farrell has tested positive for COVID-19 and is a major doubt for the upcoming clash with Tonga.

The 30-year-old has gone into isolation after receiving a positive PCR test result and is absent from England's training session on Friday, but he still has a chance of featuring on Saturday, according to the Rugby Football Union.

England confirmed that - aside from one member of support staff - all their other players and staff had returned negative test results on Thursday, and Farrell will be tested again.

The England skipper was set to start the Autumn Nations Series opener at fly-half, with George Ford not named in the squad and Marcus Smith struggling with an injury.

If Farrell is unable to feature, George Furbank is the most natural replacement, although Henry Slade could also move across to take his spot.

 

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    West Indies secured a comprehensive nine-wicket win over England in the first of their five-match T20 International series at the Kensington Oval in Barbados on Saturday.

     After winning the toss and choosing to bowl first because of, according to captain Kieron Pollard, the presence of some ‘juice’ in the pitch, the West Indies produced one of their best bowling displays in a long time to wreck the England batting line-up for just 103 in 19.4 overs.

    Jason Holder took his best bowling figures in T20s with 4-7 off 3.4 overs and he was supported by Sheldon Cottrell who claimed 2-30 from his four overs.

    Chris Jordan top-scored for the English with 28 and Adil Rashid added 22.

    The West Indies looked comfortable in their chase, only losing one wicket before getting to the target in just 17.1 overs.

    Brandon King got his second T20I 50, finishing not out on 55, while Nicholas Pooran finished not out on 20.

    The second match of the series takes place tomorrow at the same venue and time.

     

  • George North still dreaming of Wales Six Nations return after long injury lay-off George North still dreaming of Wales Six Nations return after long injury lay-off

    George North still believes he could feature for Wales at the back end of the Six Nations as he prepares to return from a gruelling knee injury lay-off.

    The star back, who has successfully converted from wing to outside centre with Wales, has the most international tries of all current players in the world game.

    However, an anterior crucial ligament (ACL) blow has put his career on hold. Sustaining the injury last April forced North to miss the British and Irish Lions' tour of South Africa, plus the autumn internationals.

    He was not included in Wales' 36-player squad for the Six Nations this week, absent along with several other notable injury casualties, including captain Alun Wyn Jones.

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    "But at the moment I'm just focusing on playing back for the Ospreys."

    Wales have home games against France and Italy on March 11 and 19 to finish the campaign, and North may be pushing for selection by then.

    He has been a key component of the Wales team since making his debut as a teenager, and passed 100 caps during the Six Nations last year.

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    He married Olympic cyclist Becky James in 2019, and they had a second son, Tomi, in October of last year.

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    :: George North is a Land Rover ambassador. Visit landrover.co.uk

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