Dowson in contention to face Ireland
March 14, 2012
Morale is high in the England camp after their win over France © Getty Images
England No.8 Phil Dowson remains in contention to face Ireland on Saturday despite being knocked out in the closing stages of last weekend's 24-22 victory over France.
Dowson collided with France centre Wesley Fofana as he dived on a loose ball and he was lying prone when England team-mate Tom Croft stood on his face. But the Northampton back-row forward has been retained in a 24-man England training squad that will prepare for Saturday's Six Nations finale against Ireland.
England's interim coach Stuart Lancaster has included both David Strettle, who missed the France game with a chest injury, and his replacement Charlie Sharples. As a result, Harlequins scrum-half Karl Dickson is one of eight players released back to their clubs this weekend, including Leicester fly-half Toby Flood.
On Tuesday Lancaster said: "With such a short turnaround after Paris the lads have had to really re-focus and we are pleased with how they have applied themselves to reviewing the game and training today.
"We'll meet again tomorrow night but it's important to recognise the contribution of those not coming back into camp. This has been a collective effort, not just the 15 who have started games, or the 22 in the match-day squads but 30-plus players who have all bought into what we are trying to achieve and are committed to the journey we are on.
"The next time these guys will all get together is ahead of the South Africa tour and we wish them well at their clubs for the rest of the season."
Lancaster will confirm his starting line-up to play Ireland when he names his match-day 22 on Thursday.
England training squad:
Forwards - M Botha (Saracens), A Corbisiero (London Irish), D Cole (Leicester Tigers), T Croft (Leicester Tigers), P Dowson (Northampton Saints), D Hartley (Northampton Saints), J Marler (Harlequins), B Morgan (Scarlets), T Palmer (Stade Francais), G Parling (Leicester Tigers), C Robshaw (Harlequins), M Stevens (Saracens), R Webber (London Wasps).
Backs - C Ashton (Northampton Saints), B Barritt (Saracens), M Brown (Harlequins), L Dickson (Northampton Saints), O Farrell (Saracens), B Foden (Northampton Saints), C Hodgson (Saracens), C Sharples (Gloucester Rugby), D Strettle (Saracens), M Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), B Youngs (Leicester Tigers)
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