Northampton fly-half Piers Francis will not join up with the England squad this week after testing positive for coronavirus, the Rugby Football Union has announced.
Francis played for Northampton in their game against Sale, who have since recorded 19 positive Covid-19 cases, a week ago.
“Piers Francis will not be part of this week’s England camp because of a positive screening test for Covid-19,” an RFU statement read.
“Francis is following relevant isolation protocols at home in line with PHE-agreed guidelines.”
The news on Francis comes after Eddie Jones revealed England were sweating on three players who might have to withdraw from the national training camp due to coronavirus concerns.
Head coach Jones named a much-changed 28-man squad featuring 12 uncapped players on Monday, for a three-day camp.
He was already unable to select players from half of the Premiership, with the top four embroiled in the play-offs and Sale and Worcester facing a rearranged match on Wednesday after the Sharks’ Covid-19 outbreak.
England will start a packed schedule with the non-cap international clash against the Barbarians, before completing the delayed Six Nations and moving onto the new Autumn Nations Cup.
Jones would typically be without his frontline stars for the Barbarians game, given the standard clash with the Premiership final.
And the no-nonsense Australian admitted battling where possible to conduct business as usual, at least in coaching terms.
“Traditionally this camp’s always been about giving opportunities to young players and having chances to see new people,” said Jones.
“You get teams that aren’t in the Premiership semi-finals, so you get a smattering of young guys.
“It’s the same now, and so it’s a great opportunity for them to raise their hands and see how far they can go with selection.”