England have received a boost to their hooker stocks after Jamie George returned to the squad ahead of their Six Nations opener against Scotland.
The Saracens veteran was initially withdrawn from Steve Borthwick’s group after suffering a concussion in his club’s 20-14 loss to Edinburgh on Sunday.
George will continue following concussion protocols until late next week but nevertheless, he reported back to England‘s Surrey training base on Thursday.
Much-needed boost to hooker stocks
England are without starting hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie so George’s return is a boost, especially with Gloucester’s George McGuigan also out with a knock.
Meanwhile, Northampton Saints flanker Lewis Ludlam has opened up on the regime that head coach Borthwick has brought into the squad this past week.
He believes both Borthwick and Kevin Sinfield’s approachable style has been a positive of their early tenure since taking over from ex-boss Eddie Jones.
“That is a really exciting thing,” said Ludlam. “You get those two, who are both real honest blokes, saying they want a team that works for each other and fights for each other.
“That is something you really want to buy into and you can feel an emotional connection to invest in what they are coaching and what the other boys want to do as well.
“There is a level of competition, yet a level of working hard for each other and we are willing to fight for each other. It is something I feel is coming together really nicely with this group.
“I feel like we’re given the opportunity to really learn. We’re given the space to try things, to express ourselves and the space to ask questions as well.
“I think a big part of taking on messages really quickly is that we’re comfortable to ask questions, because there’s no wrong question.
Enjoying England’s new coaching duo
“So it’s been brilliant, to have that emotional connection to the England side, to have that level of detail and the level of comfort to go and ask questions and learn as well, it’s been brilliant.”
The English will be determined to wrestle back the Calcutta Cup from Scotland’s grasp after their rivals have won back-to-back games against the Red Rose.
“It is a tough fixture,” added Ludlam ahead of the Six Nations showdown at Twickenham.
“To give ourselves the best possibility of going out and winning the game – and making our fans excited at Twickenham – we have to invest in the next week-and-a-half so we have the best structure to put in a performance.”
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