Harpenden St George's old boys expected to get England call ahead of 2021 Six Nations

Head and shoulders shot of England's Maro Itoje

Ex-Harpenden St George's pupil Maro Itoje is expected to be selected for England in the 2021 Six Nations despite Saracens' relegation. - Credit: ADAM DAVY/PA

Both Maro Itoje and Owen Farrell are expected to be chosen for England in the 2021 Six Nations - with selection this year slightly different to normal.

Should the former Harpenden St George's pupils get the nod from head coach Eddie Jones this week, they will join up with the squad for the entirety of the competition.

It is a situation similar to what they would face at a Rugby World Cup. This decision though comes in conjunction with the RFU, Premiership Rugby and the Rugby Players' Association with the hope being the 28-man squad will reduce the movement in and out of the secure environment.

There will still be allowances made for injuries but Eddie Jones is expected to stick as closely as possible to the original 28.

The coach is also expected to select others from Saracens, despite the St Albans-training based club's relegation to the Championship.

Both Itoje and Farrell, as well as Mako Vunipola and Jamie George, have been undertaking a specific pre-season fitness programme to be ready for game one.

Billy Vunipola meanwhile, another who should be called up, played in Sarries' opening pre-season fixture, a 27-26 defeat at Ealing Trailfinders.

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The other selection dilemma for Jones is that of Kyle Sinckler. The prop is suspended for the opening round of the tournament after swearing at a match official in Bristol Bears' win at Exeter Chiefs.

The expectation is the 27-year-old will be available for the remaining four contests.

England celebrate winning the 2020 triple crown in the Six Nations

England celebrate winning the triple crown in the 2020 Six Nations on their way to the grand slam. - Credit: ADAM DAVY/PA

England begin the defence of their title with a Calcutta Cup clash at home to Scotland on February 6 before returning to Twickenham a week later when they play Italy.

A trip to Wales follows on February 27 before they head back to HQ for a match with France on March 13.

Their tournament concludes in Dublin against Ireland on March 20.

England’s home matches, as well as the final game of the tournament at the Aviva Stadium, will be shown live on ITV.

The BBC will screen the game in Cardiff.

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