England’s Six Nations preparations hit by Joe Marler Covid test and Brighton hotel fire

Owen Farrell (left) and Joe Marler (right) talk as they leave the pitch following the England v Wales match in Cardiff in 2019
Joe Marler (right) is isolating, while captain Owen Farrell (left) has an ankle injury

England’s preparations for the Six Nations match against Scotland have been further disrupted after prop Joe Marler tested positive for Covid.

The squad were also forced to evacuate their hotel after a fire on Tuesday and move to a different one.

Marler has withdrawn from this week’s training camp in Brighton and has gone into isolation.

It follows injuries to wing Jonny May and captain Owen Farrell, who will both miss the first part of the tournament.

Following Tuesday’s suspected electrical fire, the team and support staff have relocated to an alternative hotel in Brighton.

Marler’s positive test is his second in just over two months. In November he missed the match with Australia after returning a positive result, but returned to come off the bench in the win against South Africa.

The rest of Eddie Jones’ squad and staff tested negative, but forward Courtney Lawes – favourite to skipper the side in Farrell’s absence – has been unable to train because of concussion.

England meet Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday, 5 February.

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