Dylan Hartley the latest doubt as injury-hit England prepare to face France

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• England captain struggling with muscle tightness
• Jack Nowell and Sam Underhill definitely out of Paris match

England have been hit by multiple injury problems before their Six Nations match against France on Saturday with doubts over Dylan Hartley’s fitness chief among them. The captain has a tight calf and will be continually assessed before Eddie Jones names his team on Thursday but his absence would be a considerable blow for England, with Sam Underhill and Jack Nowell already ruled out.

Underhill and Nowell have been hit by toe and ankle injuries respectively while Harry Williams (neck) is also a doubt. Underhill’s absence is keenly felt, as the 21-year-old was tipped to come into the starting XV and add his breakdown nous to the back row, but Hartley’s injury will be of particular concern with Jones steadfastly backing his under-fire captain as England seek to bounce back from their defeat against Scotland, only their second in 26 Tests.

Related: Eddie Jones expects Maro Itoje to overcome ‘second season’ syndrome

Related: Eddie Jones threatens England changes for likely Paris ‘slogathon’

Related: Stars, drama and upsets: what to expect in Six Nations’ final straight | Gerard Meagher

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from Rugby union | The Guardian http://ift.tt/2oVDwmb
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