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Six Nations
Quartet bolster England squad
ESPNscrum Staff
January 24, 2011
Northampton's Phil Dowson celebrates a try, Northampton v Bath, Aviva Premiership, Franklin's Gardens, Northampton, England, September 17, 2010
Northampton flanker Phil Dowson has been a pivotal figure for the Saints this season © Getty Images
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England manager Martin Johnson has drafted Northampton flankers Tom Wood and Phil Dowson, Leicester lock George Skivington and Bath fullback Nick Abendanon into his squad for the forthcoming Six Nations.

The Saints duo have been called up following injuries to England captain Lewis Moody and Leicester flanker Tom Croft while the in-form Skivington comes in as a replacement for the injured Northampton second row Courtney Lawes. And Abendanon earns a promotion from the Saxons squad to provide cover following an eight-week ban for London Irish fullback Delon Armitage.

All four players have joined the England squad on their pre-Six Nations training camp in Portugal, along with Hendre Fourie. The Leeds flanker suffered a calf injury in yesterday's game against Bucharest and he is being assessed by England's medics.

The RFU has also announced seven changes to the Saxons squad preparing for games against Italy 'A' and the Ireland Wolfhounds. Gloucester prop Nick Wood, London Irish hooker James Buckland, Worcester Warriors lock Graham Kitchener, Leicester Tigers centre Manu Tuilagi and Gloucester fullback Olly Morgan are named as injury replacements for Worcester's Matt Mullan, Wasps' Rob Webber and Dan Ward-Smith, Sale's Mathew Tait and Saracens' Alex Goode.

Elsewhere, Harlequins lock George Robson replaces suspended Gloucester second-row Dave Attwood and Harlequins fullback Mike Brown takes over from Abendanon following his promotion to the senior EPS.

England's elite squad for the Six Nations:

Forwards: George Chuter (Leicester Tigers), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers), Louis Deacon (Leicester Tigers), Paul Doran-Jones (Gloucester), Phil Dowson (Northampton Saints), Nick Easter (Harlequins), Hendre Fourie (Leeds Carnegie), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), James Haskell (Stade Francais), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Lewis Moody (Bath Rugby), Tom Palmer (Stade Francais), Tim Payne (London Wasps), Simon Shaw (London Wasps), Andrew Sheridan (Sale Sharks), George Skivington (Leicester Tigers), Steve Thompson (Leeds Carnegie), David Wilson (Bath Rugby), Tom Wood (Northampton Saints), Joe Worsley (London Wasps).

Backs: Nick Abendanon (Bath), Delon Armitage (London Irish), Chris Ashton (Northampton Saints), Matt Banahan (Bath Rugby), Danny Care (Harlequins), Mark Cueto (Sale Sharks), Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers), Riki Flutey (London Wasps), Ben Foden (Northampton Saints), Shontayne Hape (Bath Rugby), Charlie Hodgson (Sale Sharks), Joe Simpson (London Wasps), David Strettle (Saracens), Mike Tindall (Gloucester Rugby), Jonny Wilkinson (Toulon), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers).

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