England release Hartley and Lawes

NORTHAMPTON forwards Dylan Hartley and Courtney Lawes are among ten players who will be released from England duty back to their clubs for this weekend’s Aviva Premiership action.

Hartley and Lawes, who started in the victory over France last weekend, will be joined by team-mates Ben Foden and Lee Dickson, Wasps flanker James Haskell, Worcester’s Matt Kvesic, Saracens pair David Strettle and Joel Tomkins, plus Bath prop David Wilson and Leicester back-row forward Thomas Waldrom.

After the weekend’s domestic action, head coach Stuart Lancaster’s squad will reconvene at their Surrey base on Monday.

The RBS 6 Nations Championship leaders entertain Italy on March 10, then tackle Wales six days later for what could be a title decider.

Fly-half Owen Farrell, plus back-row forwards Ben Morgan and Billy Vunipola will continue their injury recoveries under a joint club-England medical programme at Pennyhill Park.

‘‘This week is partly about recharging our batteries after a tough Test match,’’ Lancaster said.

‘‘But we trained well today and are in pretty good shape.

‘‘Owen is still recovering from his tight quad muscle and probably won’t train this week, but we are fortunate to have Toby Flood who came on and did well against France.’’

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