David Ribbans could make his England debut in this year’s Guinness Six Nations after being selected to replace the injured Courtney Lawes in Eddie Jones’ squad.
The uncapped 25-year-old had his first taste of the England set-up when he was named in a 28-man training squad ahead of last year’s Autumn Nations Cup but he did not feature on the field.
Ribbans has remained on Jones’ agenda, however, and has now stepped up in place of his Northampton Saints teammate Lawes, who will miss the remainder of the Championship with a chest injury.
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The South African-born lock joined Saints from Western Province in 2017 and his whole-hearted displays have made him a firm favourite at Franklin’s Gardens.
He will now hope for an opportunity to take his club form into the Test arena in England’s final two matches – Jones’ side welcome France on March 13 before travelling to Ireland on Super Saturday.
The England squad will begin their preparations on Sunday when they meet at their training base following a fallow week.
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Squad members who have received less playing time during the Championship, meanwhile, are set to be given the opportunity to play for their clubs this weekend.
The RFU confirmed in a statement that ‘this will be an individual decision for each player from a performance perspective and is in line with tournament regulations and COVID-19 protocols’.