England duo Anthony Watson and Mako Vunipola must prove fitness ahead of Scotland Six Nations clash

Watson is yet to feature in the championship while Vunipola made his comeback on the weekend

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The Independent Online

Anthony Watson and Mako Vunipola have been released by England to sharpen their fitness this weekend with their clubs as they push for a starting place in Eddie Jones’ XV to face Scotland on March 11.

The pair were named as part of Jones’ 27-man training squad who will be based in Oxford this week ahead of the Calcutta Cup clash, as has Jonathan Joseph, who was omitted from the squad for last week’s win over Italy.

Exeter centre Henry Slade drops out of the squad altogether as Kyle Sinckler of Harlequins, Northampton’s Paul Hill and Leicester duo Mike Williams and Elliot Genge will all be released back to their club this weekend.

Watson missed the first two games of the championship through injury and although he was involved in the training squad prior to the Italy game, he did not make the matchday 23.

The winger will return to Bath for their big Premiership showdown with Wasps on Saturday as he looks to make enough of an impression to dislodge either Elliot Daly or Jack Nowell from the two starting berths on the wing.

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Vunipola will face Newcastle with Saracens this weekend after making his return to the England side from the replacements against Italy. Jones will hope his first-choice loosehead will be fit to start against the dangerous looking Scots, with Joe Marler expected to drop to the bench.

Vunipola’s brother, Billy, is not included in the squad despite suggestions he could make a surprise return for the Red Rose after initially being ruled out of the entire Six Nations with a knee injury.

England’s 27-man squad for this week's training camp in Oxford:

Forwards: J Clifford (Harlequins), D Cole (Leicester), E Genge (Leicester), J George (Saracens), D Hartley (Northampton), J Haskell (Wasps), P Hill (Northampton), N Hughes (Wasps), M Itoje (Saracens), J Launchbury (Wasps), C Lawes (Northampton), J Marler (Harlequins), K Sinckler (Harlequins), M Vunipola (Saracens), M Williams (Leicester), Tom Wood (Northampton).

Backs: M Brown (Harlequins), D Care (Harlequins), E Daly (Wasps), O Farrell (Saracens), G Ford (Bath), J Joseph (Bath), J May (Gloucester), J Nowell (Exeter), B Te'o (Worcester), A Watson (Bath), B Youngs (Leicester).

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