ENGLAND have drafted Thomas Waldrom and Matt Banahan into their Six Nations squad ahead of Saturday’s tournament opener against Scotland in place of injured pair Luke Narraway and Henry Trinder.
The Gloucester duo were due to be part of the senior squad preparing for the first match of interim coach Stuart Lancaster’s tenure but will now remain with their club to undergo treatment on calf and ankle problems respectively.
Both incoming players featured for England Saxons in their 23-17 win over the Irish Wolfhounds at Exeter on Saturday.
Leicester Tigers forward Waldrom, who was called up as cover for Andrew Sheridan during last autumn’s World Cup, will provide an option in the back row following Narraway’s injury, while versatile back Banahan will compensate for Trinder’s absence.
Meanwhile, wing Chris Ashton insists England fans have seen the last of his trademark swallow-dive celebration. Ashton’s showboating angered Italy during last season’s tournament and, with Scotland coach Andy Robinson complaining about English “arrogance” at the World Cup, Ashton has decided he will adopt a more conventional approach to scoring in future.
He said: “I got a little bit lost in not seeing it from other people’s point of view: how it would look if you weren’t actually out there playing.”