Joseph added to England squad

England add Jonathan Joseph to squad ahead of Six Nations opener against Ireland

England add Jonathan Joseph to squad ahead of Six Nations opener against Ireland

Jonathan Joseph was added to England's Six Nations squad on Tuesday evening, as fears eased over Owen Farrell's fitness.

Joseph has not played for England since the final match of the Six Nations a year ago, which saw Ireland win the Grand Slam at Twickenham.

Joseph, who has 40 caps for England, returned to action for Bath against Toulouse on Sunday for the first time since breaking his foot against Saracens last April.

But he stormed back for his club against Toulouse last weekend in Europe, playing 50 minutes.

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Joseph, 27, had been listed when the England squad was announced as "unavailable due to injury" alongside Chris Robshaw, Dylan Hartley, Sam Underhill, Anthony Watson and Piers Francis, but having proven his fitness is now included.

Head coach Eddie Jones' squad also includes captain Owen Farrell, who underwent thumb surgery on Saturday, with his club Saracens anticipating that he will be sidelined for seven to ten days. That raised the possibility of England calling on an extra fly-half with Cipriani among the potential options but Jones has handed the extra place in his squad - he can select a maximum of 36 - to Joseph.

Meanwhile, Jones has also confirmed that Brad Shields and Joe Launchbury both will be part of the training camp in Portugal after declared fit following recovery from their respective injuries.

Lock Launchbury went off after just nine minutes of Wasps' Champions Cup game against Leinster two days ago, while flanker Shields did not start.

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