Six Nations 2018: Sam Simmonds to miss England games against Scotland & France
|Six Nations: Scotland v England|
|Venue: Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh Date: Saturday, 24 February Kick-off: 16:45 GMT|
|Coverage: Live on BBC One, BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Scotland & BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary.|
Number eight Sam Simmonds is out of England’s next two Six Nations matches after picking up a shoulder injury in the victory over Wales.
Head coach Eddie Jones has confirmed the Exeter forward will miss the games away to Scotland and France, but should “hopefully” be fit to face Ireland.
Wasps’ Nathan Hughes is set to start in Simmonds’ absence, after recovering from a knee problem.
“He’s back fit, fresh, but has plenty of work to do,” Jones told BBC 5 live.
However, Jones added there was “definitely” enough time for Hughes to be ready to start in the Calcutta Cup encounter at Murrayfield on 24 February.
Jones also said England had enjoyed an “excellent” scrummaging session against Georgia on Tuesday and that it was “exactly the sort of practice we wanted to have”.
He said: “They won the early part and maybe we won the later part, so if it was a boxing match it would be a draw.
“The Georgians scrum in a quite unique way, and they are able to transfer pressure without moving their feet, so our front-rowers will have learned a lot today. It was a great learning experience for us.”
Prop Mako Vunipola agreed it was a beneficial exercise as England look to establish a “feared” set-piece.
“They are strong people the Georgians and they pride themselves on their set-piece,” Vunipola told BBC Radio 5 live. “We had to learn on the go, but we are very pleased.
“We want have a scrum that is feared, and to do that we have to challenge ourselves in different ways.”
Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that seven members of England’s 32-man squad have returned to their clubs.
Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs), Gabriel Ibitoye (Harlequins), Nick Isiekwe (Saracens), Zach Mercer (Bath Rugby), Sam Moore (Sale Sharks), Marcus Smith (Harlequins), Denny Solomona (Sale Sharks) were released on Tuesday evening, with the remaining 25 staying in camp until Friday.