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Tuesday Jan 24, 2023

Former England centre called back into squad

Following Steve Borthwick’s squad selection last week, there were some question marks over some of the selections. Some exciting new faces were brought in, but also many other exciting talents were left out, leaving many fans concerned.

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It’s always interesting when a squad is announced to see who has made the cut, and who hasn’t. For many players, it can be an agonising wait to see whether the hard graft has paid off for the highest rugby honour of all. When the selection doesn’t go in a player’s favour, it can however be a demoralising feeling.

As shown in last year’s six nations, however, being left out of the original squad is by no means the end of an international career. With injuries comes opportunity, just look at Jamie George last year. Left out of the original six nations squad it looked like his international career had come to an abrupt end, but with injuries to the selected Hookers, the Saracens man was back in the squad and hasn’t looked back since.

The same could very well happen for Ollie Lawrence. The Bath centre last played for England back in the summer of 2021 as he scored a cracking (pun intended) try against the USA. Since then his international opportunities have dried up under Eddie Jones. Under Borthwick, however, there appears to be a chance once again for the powerful centre.

In serious form for Bath this year, having moved over from relegated side Worcester, Lawrence deservedly picked up the Gallagher player of the month award for November. He has been a guiding light for struggling side Bath, as he has formed a formidable partnership with Cameron Redpath.

Lawrence will be looking to show his obvious talents in the white of England for this Six Nations campaign. No easy feat, he will be competing with the likes of Owen Farrell, Manu Tuilagi, Henry Slade and Joe Marchant for a position in the centres. For years England have struggled to find a consistent centre partnership, but perhaps under Steve Borthwick, they can make one stick.

In form Saracens star, Elliot Daly is suffering from a hamstring injury, while Jamie George has been ruled out with a concussion. This will also open the door for free-scoring Hooker Jamie Blamire to reignite his own England career.

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