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Page last updated at 16:39 GMT, Monday, 24 January 2011

Wood and Dowson among four call-ups for England

Tom Wood
Wood could well replace injured captain Moody at number seven for England

Injury-hit England have called up Northampton loose forwards Phil Dowson and Tom Wood along with Leicester lock George Skivington for the Six Nations.

Bath's Nick Abendanon has also been promoted from the second-string Saxons to replace the banned Delon Armitage.

Wood and Dowson both come in because of injuries to Leicester flanker Tom Croft and England captain Lewis Moody, who hopes to back for their third game.

Tigers lock Skivington replaces the injured Courtney Lawes.

All four players have joined the England squad on their pre-Six Nations training camp in Portugal, along with Leeds flanker Hendre Fourie, who is being assessed by medics after suffering a calf injury in Sunday's game against Bucharest.

Abendanon's continued presence depends on the outcome of London Irish full-back Armitage's appeal against an eight-week suspension.

Bath flanker Moody, 32, is recovering after tearing ligaments in his right knee on 15 January.

It was initially expected that he would miss the first three games of the championship, but the Bath player has said there is a chance he could be fit again in time to face Italy at Twickenham on 12 February.

"I'll be back for the third game against France, fighting fit, raring to go," Moody stated.

He told the Daily Telegraph: "It's probably not in the physios' minds [to be fit to face Italy], but it is in mine."

Moody has been England's regular captain since the final game of the 2010 Six Nations against France, when he took over from Steve Borthwick.

A new skipper will be named in the week leading up to the team's first Six Nations match, against Wales in Cardiff on 4 February.

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see also
Fourie in fitness race for opener
27 Jan 11 |  English
Armitage set to launch ban appeal
21 Jan 11 |  London Irish
Armitage banned for eight weeks
20 Jan 11 |  London Irish
Moody targets France for comeback
21 Jan 11 |  Rugby Union
England suffer Moody injury blow
18 Jan 11 |  English
Bath 55-16 Aironi Rugby
15 Jan 11 |  Rugby Union
Hodgson & Deacon in England squad
12 Jan 11 |  Rugby Union

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