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England hope for Jamie George as delay in concussion return keeps door to Six Nations open


friend George should still have the chance to prove her fitness for the start of the Six Nations despite being pulled out of England training camp.

The 72-cap hooker walked away from England training this week and will undergo return-to-play protocols at Saracens after suffering a head injury in Sunday’s 20-14 loss at Edinburgh.

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall has confirmed George will go through the 12-day phased return, leaving the 32-year-old possibly available for training next Thursday.

George must pass all concussion-related tests but could still be available for England’s Six Nations opener against Scotland at Twickenham on Saturday February 4.

“Jamie is going through the normal 12-day phased return to play process, and he’s going to do that with us, certainly to start, this week,” McCall said.

“I understand he could train fully on Thursday of the week if all the boxes are checked, and could potentially be able to participate in non-contact training on Tuesday.”

George was sent off for a head injury assessment (HIA) and was shown a yellow card for a tackle on Edinburgh’s Luke Crosbie in Sunday’s Champions Cup clash. The Lions’ first rower returned to action but was later taken off at half-time.

Saracens boss McCall insisted all processes were followed correctly, with the independent match doctor and EPCR tournament chiefs both satisfied.

Newcastle’s Jamie Blamire replaced George in England training this week, but the door remains open for the experienced campaigner to return.

“Jamie was obviously involved in a tackle that suggested there had been an impact to the head,” McCall said. “And the need for an EIS process was identified and he went through that process with all the doctors who were okay with it, both the independent doctor and our own doctor.

“And he returned to the pitch, and at half-time the footage was reviewed by both our doctor and the independent doctor. The decision to remove him from the pitch was made, and I think it was the right decision.

“There is a process to follow, the process was followed correctly, EPCR told us that the process was followed completely correctly. We will always meet again in these situations to make sure we do things the best we can.

Elliot Daly also walked away from the England squad this week, with a hamstring problem, with Bath’s Ollie Lawrence signed.

McCall remains hopeful Daly can sort things out quickly, having returned to the England squad for the first time in a year.

“We’re just trying to explore the severity of the hamstring injury and it’s ongoing,” McCall said.

“It would be a cruel chance [if the injury lasts]; he did whatever it took to get back into the international team. Let’s wait and see.”

Sports standard

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