Sanderson injury could open way for return of Dallaglio

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Lawrence Dallaglio is seemingly inching closer to an England recall after the Worcester captain Pat Sanderson was ruled out of the world champions' first three Six Nations games.

Sanderson will miss appointments with Wales, Italy and Scotland due to a back injury sustained during his club's Guinness Premiership victory over Bristol on Friday.

With the England captain Martin Corry a certain starter at No 8 against Wales at Twickenham next Saturday, the head coach Andy Robinson is set to select his two flankers from a quartet of Dallaglio, Lewis Moody, Joe Worsley and the uncapped Sale Sharks prospect Magnus Lund.

Robinson plans to reduce his squad from 36 to 26 today, before naming the starting line-up tomorrow.

Sanderson could be out for up to six weeks, raising doubts as to whether he will play any part in this season's Six Nations. The 28-year-old was England's outstanding forward during their narrow autumn loss to New Zealand. The Bristol game followed a month out with a back problem.

The uncapped Leicester hooker George Chuter is unavailable for the Wales game due to a medial knee ligament sprain.