Six Nations: George Kruis injury doubt for England, Maro Itoje to start at six

George Kruis
George Kruis has only recently recovered from a fractured cheekbone
Six Nations - England v France
Venue: Twickenham Date: 4 February Kick-off: 16:50 GMT Coverage: BBC Radio 5 live and online.

England have been given an injury scare before their Six Nations opener against France after lock George Kruis suffered a knee injury in training on Tuesday.

The 26-year-old Saracens second row will be examined on Wednesday to gauge his fitness for the Twickenham contest.

His Saracens second row partner Maro Itoje is set to start a Test in the back row for the first time.

Itoje has trained at blind-side flanker and is expected to fill the void vacated by the injured Chris Robshaw.

If coach Eddie Jones persists with his plan to field the 22-year-old on the flank, Courtney Lawes and Joe Launchbury will pair up in the second row if Kruis is unavailable.

Wing Jack Nowell missed training, but is understood to be fully fit and available for selection.

There are three loose-head props retained, with Joe Marler, Matt Mullan and Ellis Genge competing for the two places in the matchday 23.

The following 25 players have been retained by England:

Forwards: D Cole (Leicester), E Genge (Leicester), J George (Saracens), T Harrison (Northampton), D Hartley (Northampton), J Haskell (Wasps), N Hughes (Wasps), M Itoje (Saracens), G Kruis (Saracens), J Launchbury (Wasps), C Lawes (Northampton), J Marler (Harlequins), M Mullan (Wasps), K Sinckler (Harlequins), T Wood (Northampton)

Backs: M Brown (Harlequins), D Care (Harlequins), E Daly (Wasps), O Farrell (Saracens), G Ford (Bath), J Joseph (Bath), J May (Gloucester), J Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), B Te'o (Worcester Warriors), B Youngs (Leicester)

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