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England is confident about the physical condition of Smith and Mitchell before their upcoming match against Ireland in the Six Nations.
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England is confident about the physical condition of Smith and Mitchell before their upcoming match against Ireland in the Six Nations.

England are confident Marcus Smith will be available for the game with Ireland on Saturday week as they look to salvage their Six Nations campaign. In a further boost for Steve Borthwick he could be joined by Alex Mitchell.

Following England’s defeat to Scotland on Saturday, Borthwick could use some good news. The possible comeback of the half-backs he planned to begin the championship with would be a much-needed boost.

Unfortunately, Smith was unable to participate in England’s last three games due to a calf injury sustained during their training in Girona prior to their victory against Italy. It has been reported that the 25-year-old was originally slated to be the primary fly-half for England during the entire competition.

Mitchell led England to victories against Italy and Wales, but sustained a knee injury during training last week and was unable to play in the 30-21 loss to Scotland. There were concerns that he would be out for the entire championship, but Borthwick has announced that he is expected to make a comeback before its end and could potentially play against Ireland.

George Ford has been playing as the fly-half in all three matches while Smith has been absent. If Smith had been healthy, it is doubtful that Ford would have been chosen, as Borthwick was determined to give Fin Smith a chance from the bench. Ford and Danny Care both struggled in the match against Scotland, and Borthwick was disappointed that England did not stick to their gameplan after a strong start in the first 20 minutes, showing his dissatisfaction with the performance of the half-backs.

The team from Ireland is currently leading the way in the Six Nations competition. They are in such a strong position that if they win with a bonus point at Twickenham, they will secure the title with one round remaining. Following England’s fourth loss in a row to Scotland for the Calcutta Cup, Borthwick discussed the importance of finding a balance between making adjustments and remaining loyal to his players in order to improve team chemistry. He expressed optimism that Marcus will be able to join the team for the rest of the tournament.

The scrum-half Alex Mitchell, pictured on the attack in England’s win against Wales, is racing to be fit for the Six Nations encounter with Ireland.View image in fullscreen

“We have received encouraging updates on Alex Mitchell’s injury, and hopefully he will be able to play in the later stages of the tournament. It is yet to be determined if he will participate in the next game or the final one.”

During this time, it is important to find a balance between allowing players to improve and understanding the necessary relationships, as well as developing as a team. This should also include addressing any necessary changes and handling injuries and minor injuries.

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In their previous four meetings, England has been soundly defeated by Ireland. Andy Farrell’s team is aiming to make history by winning consecutive Six Nations grand slams. With Tadhg Beirne’s late try during Saturday’s match against Wales, they are still on track to achieve a perfect record with five bonus-point wins.

Borthwick will hold a “thorough and honest” review when England reconvene in York on Wednesday before turning attentions to Ireland. “We’ve got two weeks trying to work out how we beat them,” said the back-rower, Ben Earl. “They’re probably one of the top two, three teams in the world but I have full confidence that our leaders in the squad and the coaches will come up with a solution on how to beat them.”

Source: theguardian.com