Denny Solomona in line to start for England in 6 Nations opener

Denny Solomona in line to start for England in 6 Nations opener
Denny Solomona

England trained with a back three of Denny Solomona, Anthony Watson and Jonny May as they continue to monitor the fitness of Mike Brown.

Solomona lined-up on the right wing in a fast-paced training session at the squad’s training camp in the Algarve as Eddie Jones assesses his dwindling options in the position due to an escalating injury crisis.

Brown has been suffering from blurred vision and has been rated "borderline" by Jones to take part the NatWest 6 Nations opener against Italy on Sunday week with Watson poised to deputise at full-back in Rome.

Elliot Daly, Jack Nowell and Semesa Rokoduguni will miss all or chunks of the tournament, clearing the path for Solomona to win his third cap.

The rugby league convert is competing with Nathan Earle for the right wing spot, but on the evidence of Friday’s training camp in Vilamoura it is the Sale finisher who will face Italy.

The injury crisis that has swept through Europe has blighted all teams in the six Nations and England are among the worst hit.

By the time the tournament starts, they could be missing 18 players to injury or suspension.

Chris Robshaw is also rated "borderline" because of a back problem, but the indications are that he will be fit to start in a back row that is already without Billy Vunipola, Nathan Hughes and James Haskell.

Maro Itoje is nursing a badly bruised hip sustained on European duty for Saracens but is expected to be available, decreasing George Kruis’ chance of being involved in the start of the title defence.

Kruis was dropped by the British and Irish Lions and England at various points last year but believes his form is returning as he continues to put a run of knee, ankle and cheekbone injuries in the rear-view mirror.

"It has been a bit tough - just realising that you do have form and trying to make sure that it’s always there," Kruis said.

"It’s definitely part of the game. The good players can come back from that and that’s exactly what I’m trying to do.

"I feel that maybe I was playing below my best. Form covers lots of things.

"I had an extended period of injury before with three or four ops in a year and that never helps the situation. I’m just excited to be back with the group and cracking on with it."

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