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Jones ‘cautiously optimistic’ over Farrell ahead of Ireland clash

England boss Eddie Jones is “cautiously optimistic” Owen Farrell will be fit for the Six Nations opener against Ireland, despite needing surgery to fix a thumb injury.

Farrell – who this week was named England’s captain with Dylan Hartley ruled out for the start of the tournament with a knee issue – sat out Saracens’ European Champions Cup fixture with Glasgow Warriors on Saturday.

Director of rugby Mark McCall confirmed to BT Sports that the fly-half required “a simple procedure” at the base of his thumb and his recovery could take up to 10 days.

While the timeframe is tight with the Ireland game on February 2, Jones is upbeat over the influential 27-year-old’s chances of featuring at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

“I came from Saracens, they had a good win. We’re cautiously optimistic, he should be alright,” he told Sky Sports News.

Jones and his players head for Portugal on Wednesday for a training camp before the Australian names his 25-man party to face Ireland on January 31.

KEO.co.za News wire is powered by opta

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