Northampton lock David Ribbans replaces Courtney Lawes in England's Six Nations squad
Courtney Lawes has been ruled out for 12 weeks and will miss England's remaining Six Nations fixtures after undergoing surgery on a pectoral injury; Eddie Jones has called up his Saints team-mate David Ribbans to replace him
Last Updated: 03/03/21 4:32pm
South African-born lock David Ribbans has been called up to the England squad for the rest of the Guinness Six Nations.
Ribbans has received the call from England head coach Eddie Jones in place of his Northampton team-mate Courtney Lawes, who has been ruled out for 12 weeks after undergoing surgery on a pectoral injury.
Ribbans, 25, has been in fine form for Saints in the Premiership, including an impressive performance against Bath last time out in front of Jones.
England resume their Six Nations campaign against France on Saturday week, having suffered defeats against Scotland and Wales either side of beating Italy.
Northampton said that Lawes, who has won 87 caps, will undergo surgery on a pectoral injury he suffered during England training, and he faces an approximate 12-week recovery period.
That would sideline him until late May or early June, meaning he will miss the overwhelming majority of Saints' remaining Gallagher Premiership fixtures.
"Northampton Saints can confirm that, following consultation between the club's medical staff and a specialist, Courtney Lawes will undergo surgery on the pectoral injury he sustained in England training last week," Saints said in a statement.
"The 32-year-old lock will require a rehabilitation period of approximately 12 weeks."
The Rugby Football Union, meanwhile, added that some of Jones' 28-man squad "who have received less playing time during the tournament" will be given an opportunity to play for their clubs this weekend.
"This will be an individual decision for each player from a performance perspective and is in line with tournament regulations and Covid-19 protocols," the RFU said.
Jones limited his Six Nations squad selection in January to 28 players in an effort to enhance coronavirus safety measures.
The RFU struck an agreement with Premiership Rugby and the Rugby Players' Association that enables the 28 members to remain in camp for the entirety of a Test week.
It was previously customary for Jones to pick an initial training squad of around 32 players that would arrive in camp on a Monday.
This would then be trimmed to a smaller group of 23 to 25 on a Tuesday or Wednesday night, enabling those not in contention to play for England that weekend to turn out for their clubs instead.