England will not have to wait too long before they can once again call on the attacking talent of George Ford, according to assistant coach John Mitchell.
The Leicester Tigers fly-half withdrew from the squad that is due to face the Barbarians at Twickenham on Sunday with what the RFU called a “pre-existing Achilles” issue.
It leaves Eddie Jones with Owen Farrell and Piers Francis as the only capped No.10s available for the warm-up game ahead of England’s 2020 Guinness Six Nations finale.
But while Mitchell was not forthcoming with any more detail on Ford’s prognosis, he did not rule him out of the Super Saturday clash against Italy in Rome.
“Fordy has got a slight ankle problem that’s obviously being managed,” he said.
“Clearly we expect him back and in preparation pretty soon, but it’s important to manage these guys so we get them back at 100 per cent.
“We’re aware of the injury and we’re managing it. At the moment he’s in a position of rehabbing and reconditioning and we’ll take the next step post getting through that period.”
The Red Rose have added Bristol trio Kyle Sinckler, Ben Earl and Max Malins to the squad after the Bears were removed from standby for the Premiership Rugby final.
Mitchell suggested it is unlikely they will be called on for this weekend’s fixture, though.
“We’ve got a group here now three weeks in advance in terms of high-speed running and the way we go about our training and methodology,” he said.
“It’s really important to make sure those three players, or for that matter anyone who enters, is reconditioned in an appropriate way so they can join full training and give it everything.”
England’s game against the Baa-Baas will be their first since beating Ireland in March and Jonathan Joseph is relishing the chance to represent his country again.
“It will be great to pull on the red rose again, it feels like it’s been forever,” he said. “A lot of the boys are very excited to be back in the camp and as usual there’s a massive buzz around it.”