Rugby Union

England coach Jones isolating after assistant positive for COVID-19

London: England head coach Eddie Jones is self-isolating after assistant Matt Proudfoot tested positive for COVID-19, England Rugby said in a statement on Wednesday.

Jones and assistant Simon Amor have been identified as contacts and must isolate for 10 days under British government guidelines.

England coach Eddie Jones.Credit:Getty

England said forwards coach Proudfoot was tested ahead of next month's Six Nations tournament and was not displaying any symptoms.

Champions England are due to announce their Six Nations squad on Friday with players gathering at St. George’s Park, the England football team's training base, on January 27.

"Following further negative tests, Jones and Amor will join up with the group on Thursday 28 January," the England statement said.

Meanwhile, Wales have named uncapped back-rower Josh Macleod in their 36-man squad for the Six Nations, while there is also a recall for lock Dan Lydiate, who last featured three years ago.

Monaco-born Macleod is a former Wales under-20 international who plays as an openside and is widely regarded for his defensive work.

There are few surprises in the selection from coach Wayne Pivac, who has endured a difficult first year in charge of the side after replacing Warren Gatland.

Halfback Kieran Hardy, five-eighth Callum Sheedy, centre Johnny Williams and wing Louis Rees-Zammit have all been retained after impressing in the autumn internationals at the end of last year, while influential playmaker Tomos Williams returns from injury.

Scotland have included centre Cameron Redpath in their 35-man squad after winning a potential tug-of-war with England for the player.

Redpath’s father Bryan won 60 caps at halfback for Scotland and captained the team. An approach late last year failed, though he has now committed to coach Gregor Townsend’s rebuild of the squad.

"We have spoken to him for a while," Townsend said on Wednesday. "We wanted him in the autumn, but he did not feel it was the right time to commit to either team.

"But he has made that decision now and saying yes to us, we see him as a big part of the Six Nations campaign. He has played really well for Bath."

Five-eighth Finn Russell returns from injury in a major boost, while back-rower Gary Graham, winger Byron McGuigan, hooker Grant Stewart and prop Alan Dell are also back in the squad.

Aside from Redpath, there are three other uncapped players in hookers David Cherry and Ewan Ashman, and lock Alex Craig.

"The depth we have across the squad enables us to bring in some new players who have excelled in recent weeks and others who we believe can perform at Test level," Townsend said.

"Our tournament gets off to a fantastic start with a fixture we look forward to every year against England (on February 6) and the opportunity to win back the Calcutta Cup at Twickenham.

"As coaches we have selected a group which we believe can build on the work our players put in throughout the recent Autumn Nations Cup campaign and kick on again in terms of performance levels."

Reuters

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