Mullan joins England fold as Hartley and Lawes await news

ENGLAND have followed the call-ups of the hooker David Paice and lock George Robson with that of the prop Matt Mullan after concerns arose surrounding Joe Marler’s tight hamstring.

Paice and Robson were turned to on Sunday as potential respective replacements for Dylan Hartley and Courtney Lawes after the Northampton pair suffered knee injuries in Sunday’s 16-6 defeat to Saracens, though they could yet both be declared fit depending upon today’s results from scans underwent last night.

Worcester’s Mullan becomes part of England’s ever-changing front row scene in which the Saracens prop Mako Vunipola has also received the first call-up of his career to follow Marler’s summer debut, and there remains the potential for further change elsewhere.

Head coach Stuart Lancaster will also today announce his captain for England’s impending four Tests against Fiji, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand from November 10 in which the reign of flanker Chris Robshaw – which began in February for the Six Nations – may or may not be extended. Robshaw, incidentally, injured an eye playing for Harlequins on Sunday when London Irish’s Jonathan Joseph also injured an ankle, but there have been no replacements called up.

The greatest concern surrounds Hartley, Lancaster’s first choice in a position where Tom Youngs is the only other option in the squad.