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Ollie Lawrence, Oscar Beard and Luke Cowan-Dickie withdraw from England squad ahead of Six Nations opener

England have called up Max Ojomoh, Will Muir and Jamie Blamire to replace injured trio Ollie Lawrence, Oscar Beard and Luke Cowan-Dickie; Steve Borthwick's side begin their Guinness Six Nations campaign against Italy on February 3; lock Charlie Ewels has replaced Nick Isiekwe

Image: Ollie Lawrence is among three players to have withdrawn from England's squad ahead of their Six Nations opener

England's midfield options for their Guinness Six Nations opener against Italy are dwindling after Ollie Lawrence and Oscar Beard withdrew from Steve Borthwick's training squad because of injury.

Hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie has also been replaced in a triple setback as the squad departed for their pre-Championship training camp in Girona.

Beard suffered concussion in Harlequins' European victory over Ulster on Saturday while Cowan-Dickie was replaced early in the second half of Sale's defeat by La Rochelle a day later because of an undisclosed medical condition.

A further change to the squad sees Bath lock Charlie Ewels replace Nick Isiekwe - due to illness - at England's training base in Girona.

Image: Luke Cowan-Dickie also missed England's World Cup campaign last autumn through injury

Ollie Lawrence finished Bath's loss at Toulouse on Sunday but there are no details of his injury.

Bath's Max Ojomoh and Will Muir have been called into England's 36-man Six Nations squad to plug the gaps in midfield, while Jamie Blamire of Newcastle replaces Cowan-Dickie.

If he is definitively ruled out against Italy on Saturday week, Lawrence will be a significant loss given he was expected to form a centre partnership with Henry Slade at the Stadio Olimpico.

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Lawrence has been a force for Bath this season and, crucially, is able to switch from his preferred position at 13 to 12 where England are short of credible options.

Slade has filled inside centre in the past but is a better fit at outside, leaving the uncapped Fraser Dingwall in pole position to secure the number 12 jersey.

Beard will still travel to Girona as he completes the return to play protocols for concussion but Cowan-Dickie will remain at home to see a specialist.

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Head coach Steve Borthwick outlines why he's named Jamie George as his new England captain and explains some of the inclusions in the wider 36-man Six Nations squad.

When is the Six Nations?

The 2024 Six Nations takes place between February 2 and March 16, with the northern hemisphere's best looking for silverware after the autumn's Rugby World Cup.

Italy host England on February 3, before Borthwick's side take on Wales at Twickenham the following Saturday (4.45pm). England travel to Scotland on February 24 and are at home to Ireland on March 9, then round off their campaign away at France in Lyon on March 16.

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