Lawrence, Marler named in England squad to face France


FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Six Nations Championship - England Training - The Lensbury Hotel, Teddington, Britain - October 27, 2020 England's Ollie Lawrence during training Andy Rain/Pool via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - England have retained a 27-man squad for Sunday's Autumn Nations Cup final against France at Twickenham, with centre Ollie Lawrence back after missing the win over Wales through injury and prop Joe Marler seeking a first appearance since March.

Coach Eddie Jones has left his options open ahead of naming his team on Friday, but the powerful Lawrence is likely to be earn his fourth cap having brought physicality to the midfield against Ireland.

Max Malins and Joe Marchant are also battling for a slot in an England backline that has had little chance to shine over the last few weeks.

Among the forwards, flanker Jack Willis is again included, as is Marler, whose last international appearance was against Wales in the Six Nations.

England qualified for the final by topping Group A with wins over Georgia, Ireland and Wales, while France won Group B after beating Italy and Scotland and being handed a walkover against COVID-hit Fiji.

France, who beat England in their opening game of the Six Nations in February, will be fielding a largely second-string team due to the agreement between clubs and the national union that no player could be involved in more than three of their autumn matches.

The game will be England's first in front of fans since spring, with 2,000 allowed into Twickenham. Around 400 tickets have been donated to local NHS workers, with 50 of them seated in the Royal Box.

England squad

BacksElliot Daly (Saracens, 46 caps)Owen Farrell (Saracens, 87 caps)George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 71 caps)Ollie Lawrence (Worcester Warriors, 3 caps)Max Malins (Bristol Bears, 2 caps)Joe Marchant (Harlequins, 4 caps)Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 60 caps)Dan Robson (Wasps, 6 caps)Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 33 caps)Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 45 caps)Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 103 caps) ForwardsLuke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 25 caps)Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 27 caps)Ben Earl (Bristol Bears, 7 caps)Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 17 caps)Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 22 caps)Jamie George (Saracens, 53 caps)Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs, 3 caps)Maro Itoje (Saracens, 42 caps)Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 68 caps)Joe Marler (Harlequins, 71 caps)Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 39 caps)Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 7 caps)Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 21 caps)Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 55 caps)Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 63 caps)Jack Willis (Wasps, 2 caps)

(Reporting by Mitch Phillips, editing by Ed Osmond)

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