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Lynagh out of England squad with COVID-19

Louis Lynagh’s Test aspirations have been put on hold with the Harlequins winger forced to withdraw from England’s extended Six Nations squad after testing positive for COVID-19.

It rules Lynagh out of the Ireland clash this weekend, although as a fringe player the 21-year-old was deemed unlikely to make his international debut in the crunch game.

Further testing has produced no more positive results amongst players and staff.

Lynagh — the son of Wallabies great Michael Lynagh — was has been selected in coach Eddie Jones’ wider squad on more than one occasion but remains uncapped having not made the cut for matchday.

While Lynagh won’t have a chance to press his claims for a maiden Test appearance, Alex Dombrandt and Sam Underhill will be keen to impress Jones as they target a starting spot for Saturday’s game at Twickenham.

Dombrandt remains a doubt after his recovery from coronavirus, with England ready to give the Harlequins No.8 an opportunity to prove his health and fitness in training on Thursday.

Underhill, meanwhile, has returned to the England set-up for the first time since the autumn, having battled COVID-19, illness and injury to be back in the Test arena.

But the Bath flanker must prove his sharpness in training on Tuesday, to push his way into the selection picture.

Jones said of Quins powerhouse Dombrandt: “He’ll be a chance, but we’ve just got to wait and see how he recovers from COVID.”

Underhill was omitted from England’s tournament opener against Scotland having been forced to navigate head-injury issues but returned to club action last weekend.

“He’s a little bit off his best but we’ll give him the opportunity to train tomorrow and see where he’s up to,” Jones said of Underhill.

“And if he’s at the necessary level to play an international game against Ireland, then he’ll come into the consideration for the 23.”

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