Leicester Mercury

Injured Ford ruled out of clash against Barbarians

- Leicesterm­ercury.co.uk/sport

TIGERS fly-half George Ford has been ruled out of England’s Quilter Cup clash against the Barbarians this weekend, but Eddie Jones has bolstered his squad with a trio of Bristol players.

Ford was named in the initial 32-man squad on Tuesday, but has withdrawn with what the Rugby Football Union called a “pre-existing Achilles issue”. No timescale has yet been put on his recovery.

Jones has been able to add to his group, though, calling up Kyle Sinckler, Ben Earl and, for the first time, Max Malins.

Malins offers cover and a new option at number 10; Earl brings further depth to the pool of flankers and World Cup finalist Sinckler adds plenty of experience to the front row.

The trio had originally been left out due to uncertaint­y over Bristol’s potential role in the Gallagher Premiershi­p final.

The Bears had been on standby to take the place of Wasps against Exeter in the showpiece following an outbreak of coronaviru­s in the Wasps camp, but the Coventry side have now been cleared to take part.

Following their clash with the Baa Baas, England will head to Rome for the conclusion of their Guinness Six Nations campaign against Italy.

They will then meet Georgia, Ireland and Wales in the Autumn Nations Cup.

Meanwhile, the British and Irish Lions will play Japan at Murrayfiel­d next summer in a curtain-raiser Test match for their 2021 South Africa tour.

The Lions have confirmed June 26 for a first meeting against Japan in their long and illustriou­s history.

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