Exeter Chiefs wing Jack Nowell has replaced Jonny May of Gloucester Rugby in a 26-man England training squad to prepare for Sunday’s RBS 6 Nations match against Ireland.

Nowell, who featured in all five matches during last season’s tournament, inspired his club to a 32-21 victory over Harlequins on Saturday after spending the preceding week at Pennyhill Park with Stuart Lancaster’s starters from the previous weekend’s defeat of Italy.

Elsewhere in the back three, Saracens full back Alex Goode – a veteran of the 12-6 win in Dublin two years ago – is retained while Mike Brown continues to work through his graduated return-to-play protocol. Brown completed a running session today and should be able to take part in non-contact training with the squad tomorrow.

Chris Pennell, with England for the first time since last June’s tour to New Zealand, stays in Bagshot to spend some more time familiarising himself with the set-up.

Meanwhile, Bath Rugby tighthead prop Henry Thomas will join training tomorrow following a hip flexor strain to Kieran Brookes,

The squad will train on Wednesday before re-assembling at Pennyhill Park on Thursday evening and flying to Dublin on Friday.

England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster said: “Preparation has gone well and we’ve had a good build up so far. The guys who played against Wales and Italy did really well and the good thing is that others who are now fit and training are pushing hard for selection.

“We’ve had to make some tough decisions but it’s a good position to be in and those players going back to their clubs have another big weekend ahead to lay down a marker for later in the tournament.

“Chris Pennell is in camp for the first time since last summer so we are taking this opportunity for him to spend some additional time with us as Worcester have no Greene King IPA Championship game this weekend.”


England squad for Ireland (26)

Forwards (14)

Dave Attwood (Bath Rugby)
Kieran Brookes (Newcastle Falcons)
Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)
Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers)
Nick Easter (Harlequins)
Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints)
James Haskell (Wasps)
George Kruis (Saracens)
Joe Marler (Harlequins)
Chris Robshaw (captain, Harlequins)
Henry Thomas (Bath Rugby)
Billy Vunipola (Saracens)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens)
Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers)


Backs (12)

Mike Brown (Harlequins)
Luther Burrell (Northampton Saints)
Danny Cipriani (Sale Sharks)
George Ford (Bath Rugby)
Alex Goode (Saracens)
Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby)
Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs)
Chris Pennell (Worcester Warriors)
Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby)
Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby)
Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

Retained in camp for recovery:

Manusamoa Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers)

Players released to Aviva Premiership clubs (10):

Brad Barritt (Saracens)
Danny Care (Harlequins)
Calum Clark (Northampton Saints)
Alex Corbisiero (Northampton Saints)
Kyle Eastmond (Bath Rugby)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby)
Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers)
Rob Webber (Bath Rugby)
Tom Wood  (Northampton Saints)