England facing issues at prop as Beno Obano returns to training squad

By Duncan Bech, PA England Rugby Correspondent

England are facing escalating problems at prop after Beno Obano was called into Eddie Jones’ training squad ahead of Sunday’s Guinness Six Nations clash with Ireland.

Obano has been summoned to the team’s base in Surrey as cover for either Joe Marler or Ellis Genge with Jones refusing to specify which loosehead has become a doubt for the Twickenham showdown.

The news comes two days after Mako Vunipola was ruled out of the round three fixture for family reasons that have forced his return home to Tonga.

Mako Vunipola was ruled out for family reasons that have forced his return home to Tonga (Adam Davy/PA)

Obano returned to his club Bath on Wednesday after becoming one of the six players culled from England’s 33-man squad, but has been summoned back to England’s camp and will train on Thursday afternoon.

If Marler or Genge do fail to recover in time, then Obano will make his Test debut against Ireland.

“Beno’s on the freight train, just in as a bit of cover. As I said we’ve got a few niggles so we just needed an extra prop in there,” Jones said.

England must topple Ireland to remain in Six Nations title contention, but Andy Farrell’s men are in the hunt for a the Grand Slam after compiling second wins.

“The Six Nations is a contest competition. It’s all about the contest at the set-piece, in the air or on the ground. Or both,” Jones said.

“There’s no guessing out there, the Six Nations is a pretty simple game. You’ve got to win the set-piece, win the ground and win the air.

“Ireland are a very well coached team. We respect their back row so we’ll have to be good in that area. Ireland are an all-round well coached side.

“They’ve got good players, so we don’t see one area being stronger than another. We’ll take them on their merit and we’ll need to play well.”