England captain Hartley a doubt for France game

Dylan Hartley was replaced after 56 minutes during England's 25-13 defeat by Scotland
Six Nations: France v England
Venue: Stade de France, Paris Date: Saturday, 10 March Kick-off: 16:45 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC One and BBC Radio 5 live, plus live text commentary on BBC Sport website and app.

England captain Dylan Hartley is a doubt for Saturday's Six Nations game against France in Paris, while wing Jack Nowell has been ruled out for the rest of the championship.

Hooker Hartley, 31, has tightness in his calf and will be monitored before Thursday's team announcement.

Exeter's Nowell rolled an ankle injury in training and will play no further part in the tournament.

Bath flanker Sam Underhill has also been ruled out of the France game.

The 21-year-old sustained a toe injury in training but could return for England's final game against Ireland.

Nowell, 24, and Underhill have both featured off the bench in all three of England's matches so far in the championship, but have now returned to their clubs.

According to England forwards coach Steve Borthwick, Northampton's Hartley and Exeter prop Harry Williams, 26, have reported muscle tightness, but at this stage both are expected to be fit.

"Dylan trained fully yesterday and just had a bit of tightness afterwards. There will be ongoing assessment on a daily basis," Borthwick told BBC 5 live.

Luke Cowan-Dickie has been called up as "precautionary cover" for Hartley, while Kyle Sinckler is in camp as back-up to Williams.

If Hartley is unable to recover then Jamie George is in line to start in Paris, with Owen Farrell taking over the captaincy.

Sam Simmonds will come back into contention after returning from injury, while experienced flanker James Haskell is also set to be included in the matchday 23.

Defending champions England are currently second in the table behind Ireland, having lost to Scotland at Murrayfield in their last outing.

Source: BBC Rugby Union News

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By adamreeves / Administrator, bbp_keymaster on Mar 06, 2018