Sport Lawes ruled out England's Six Nations campaign with pectoral injury
England's legal limits on social contact set to end in June - hugs may be allowed from May
The prime minister has said England is going to start "reclaiming our freedoms" - with all legal limits on people's social contact set to end by 21 June. Unveiling his long-awaited roadmap for easing the country's third COVID-19 lockdown, Boris Johnson said he hoped the nation was on a "one-way road to freedom" after a "wretched year", declaring: "The end really is in sight."After schools reopen on 8 March, with some outdoor restrictions lifted by 29 March, Mr Johnson said the next step would be to reopen beer gardens and hairdressers in England from 12 April at the earliest.
England lock Courtney Lawes faces being out of rugby for 12 weeks after suffering a pectoral injury.
The Northampton forward, who has won 87 caps, was hurt during England training last week.
His Saints team-mate David Ribbans has been called into England's Guinness Six Nations squad to bolster second-row resources ahead of their remaining games against France and Ireland.
Farrell is lucky to still be in the England team
The lucky men are three other members of the large Saracens contingent; captain Owen Farrell, full-back Elliot Daly and No 8 Billy Vunipola. This trio have not been playing well so far in the Six Nations. They know it and Jones knows it. In the case of Farrell, the head coach has admitted as much, while the younger Vunipola offered a searing assessment of his own 'rubbish' efforts thus far. Many on the outside believe they should not be playing, so it is high time to repay the faith shown by Jones.
Northampton said that Lawes will undergo surgery 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.
Whether it affects his British and Irish Lions squad selection hopes to face South Africa this summer remains to be seen.
'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.
Wales' late surge sees them to Triple Crown against England
Wales surged clear in the closing stages to beat England 40-24 in Cardiff on Saturday to clinch the Triple Crown and stay on course for a Six Nations Grand Slam. Defeat all but ended reigning champions England's hopes of a successful title defence. England, in a match where French referee Pascal Gauzere controversially allowed two of Wales' four tries to stand, battled back from 17-6 down to 24-24 with 18 minutes left. But England indiscipline,Defeat all but ended reigning champions England's hopes of a successful title defence.
'The 32-year-old lock will require a rehabilitation period of approximately 12 weeks.'
England resume their Six Nations campaign against France on Saturday week, having suffered defeats against Scotland and Wales either side of beating Italy.
The Rugby Football Union said 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 added.
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.
Six Nations secures long-term partnership with CVC Capital .
Six Nations secures long-term partnership with CVC CapitalUnder the terms of the deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, CVC will gain a 1/7th share in Six Nations Rugby, while the rugby unions of England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales will together retain a 6/7th share.