Six Nations 2022 squad updates: Who will captain England? Plus Alun Wyn Jones and Duhan van der Merwe latest
England’s Owen Farrell will miss this year’s Championship while there is fresh news on Scotland and Wales players ahead of next weekend’s opening matches.
Eddie Jones confirmed yesterday that Own Farrell would miss the entire competition and requires surgery on an ankle injury, but the question now is who will captain England at this year’s tournament?
Reigning champions Wales are without several important players and head of that list is British & Irish Lions’ skipper Alun Wyn Jones with Wayne Pivac providing an update on the lock’s chances of featuring in the 2022 event.
Scotland have a much cleaner bill of health but have seen a couple of early changes to their squad although things do look positive for the players concerned according to Gregor Twonsend.
Here is the latest news on the big questions surrounding the England, Scotland and Wales squads ahead of the Round 1 matches:
Who will captain England at the 2022 Six Nations Championship?
The news broke yesterday that Owen Farrell will miss the 2022 Six Nations Championship with an ankle injury he sustained in training with club side Saracens.
The England skipper will require surgery and will play no part in this year’s competition.
Now, Eddie Jones must pick a replacement to lead his side but the Australian is keeping his cards close to his chest on the subject.
The England head coach has said he will delay making a public announcement on the “leadership groups” within the squad and it may even be right up till the squad announcement for their opening match with Scotland at Murrayfield until the public find out who will be captaining the team.
Jones said: “We are not going to name it, we are going to wait until we name the team for Scotland but we have got a group of players that are assuming responsibility for their job.
“The reason I am not going to name it is there is the core leadership and there is a greater leadership group.
“What we are trying to do is there will be a core group which is made up of four of five vice-captains but they are almost like the cabinet and they have got to make sure they devolve some roles and responsibilities to other guys in the team.”
During the Autumn Internationals, for which Farrell was captain, Jones named three players as vice captains.
They were Ellis Genge, Courtney Lawes and Tom Curry who will now be the three main contenders to step into the role of captain while Maro Itoje is likely to be considered as well.
Alun Wyn Jones a ‘long shot’ to play in 2022 Six Nations, says Pivac
Wales will have to enter the 2022 Six Nations Championship without their influential captain Alun Wyn Jones.
However, the lock’s incredible return from injury to feature in the 2021 British & Irish Lions series in South Africa has left some fans with a lingering hope that the 36-year old could return in time for the later rounds of the competition.
Head coach Wayne Pivac spoke to the press, saying fans shouldn’t bank on seeing the icon take to the field withouth going as far to totally rule him out.
He said: “Never say never. It’s Alun Wyn Jones.
“I probably wouldn’t enter the conversation if it was anyone else, but the guy has broken so many records. I honestly say that, that I would never say never.
“But, look, it’ll be a long shot. Let’s just say that Al is working incredibly hard behind the scenes, as you know he would, to get himself in the best shape possible for either the Ospreys or Wales.”
Wales are also without other key players at the moment with Johnny Williams, Leigh Halfpenny, Elliott Dee, Ken Owens, Taulupe Faletau, Dan Lydiate, Josh Macleod, Josh Navidi and Justin Tipuric all missing from the initial squad.
Scotland’s Duhan van der Merwe ‘making progress’ ahead of Calcutta Cup clash
It looks like good news for Scotland fans with head coach Gregor Townsend confirming that Duhan van der Merwe is “making progress” and is on track to return to the squad in time for the Calcutta Cup opener with England at Murrayfield.
The South African born winger, who has established himself as a key part of Townsend’s set up and a favourite with the supporters, withdrew from the squad last week along with fellow back Kyle Rowe.
The vastly experienced Sean Maitland was called up in place of the duo but things appear to be looking good for van der Merwe’s return.
Townsend said: “They are all making progress. Both Duhan and Kyle are all feeling much better and if they continue to make progress, we believe they will be available for our camp next week, which begins on Sunday night.
“We will just wait and see over the next few days.”
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