England will be hoping for Jamie George as injury delays keep the door open to the Six Nations



friend George should get a chance to prove his fitness to start the Six Nations despite being ruled out of England training camp.

The 72-year-old has been absent from England training this week and will undergo return-to-play protocols at Saracens after picking up a head injury in Sunday’s 20-14 defeat in Edinburgh.

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall confirmed George will return on a 12-day layoff, leaving the 32-year-old available for training next Thursday.

George will have to pass all concussion tests but could be available for England’s Six Nations opener against Scotland at Twickenham on Saturday 4 February.

“Jamie is going through a normal 12-day phased return to action and he’s going to do that with us, obviously starting this week,” McCall said.

“If all the boxes are checked, I understand he will be able to practice fully on Thursday of the week and participate in non-contact practice on Tuesday.”

George was taken off for a head injury assessment (HIA) and booked for a challenge on Edinburgh’s Luke Crosby in Sunday’s Champions Cup clash. The Lions first-rower returned to the game but was later sent off at half-time.

Saracens boss McCall said all processes had been followed correctly, with both the independent match doctor and EPCR tournament officials satisfied.

Newcastle’s Jamie Blamire replaced George in England training this week, but the door is open for the experienced campaigner to return.

“It’s clear that Jamie was involved in a fight that had an impact on his head,” McCall said. “And the need for an EIS process was identified and he went through that process with all the doctors who were good, both with the independent doctor and with our own doctor.

“He returned to the pitch and at half-time the footage was reviewed by both our doctor and an independent doctor. The decision was made to take him off the field and I think it was the right decision.

“There is a process, the process was done correctly, EPCR told us that the process was completely done correctly. We always meet again in situations like this to make sure we’ve done our best.

Elliott Daley also withdrew from the England squad this week with a hamstring problem, while Bath’s Ollie Lawrence was signed.

McCall hopes Daley can get things sorted quickly as he returns to the England squad for the first time in a year.

“We’re trying to study the severity of the hip injury and it’s ongoing,” McCall said.

“It would be a cruel possibility [if the injury lasts]; he did everything possible to return to the international team. Let’s wait and see.”

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